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Kaiser Permanente Pharmacists Could Strike As Early As Monday

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) —  People lined up to fill prescriptions Saturday as a pharmacist strike looms at Kaiser Permanente.

More than 1,000 Kaiser pharmacists could strike as early as Monday.

KCAL9’s Bobby Kaple reported from Hollywood where he spoke to several concerned consumers.

“The lines are getting longer and longer,” said Soledad Munoz.

Like many others, she came to pick up prescriptions in the event the pharmacists walk off the job.

“Everyone is trying to get their medication before anything happens,” she said, “I guess we’re all stressful right now.”

“On Friday, the line went out the pharmacy and all the way out the door,” said Robert Biers, Kaiser member. “People have been alerted that things might change. That’s why I showed up today instead of a regular day.”

At issue, the pharmacists say they will strike Monday morning if pensions they lost at the bargaining table three years ago aren’t reinstated.

A strike would mean no one available to fill prescriptions.

“The technicians aren’t saying anything,” says Biers, but in the lines you hear people uttering the word ‘strike’ and wishing the technicians good luck after they get their meds on the way out.”

“We just finished day 21 of negotiations with Kaiser and there were no propsals that crossed the table today,” said Dr. Robin Borden, President of the Guild For Professional Pharmacists.

He says a strike is fully planned.

“We feel really sorry for our patients,” Borden said, “And we hope Kaiser comes around.”

Saturday evening, Kaiser released a statement about the on-going negotiations.

“With the good faith involvement of all concerned, we are optimistic that we will continue to make progress toward a contract agreement,” they said.

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