Nursing Home Workers Begin Second Day of Unfair Labor Practice Strike at Spectrum Homes

Friday, April 16, 2010 -- Nurses, nursing assistants and elder-care support staff at skilled nursing homes operated by Spectrum Healthcare are hitting the picket lines again this morning in four Connecticut towns.

Almost 400 caregivers at the four facilities - Birmingham Health Center in Derby, Hilltop Health Center in Ansonia, Laurel Hill Health Center in Winsted and Park Place in Hartford went on strike over Unfair Labor Practices on the part of their corporate operator, Spectrum. Caregivers at the four striking homes have been working under the terms of their previous contracts, which expired more than a year ago (March 15, 2009).

District 1199 Vice President Almena Thompson said, “Since the contract expired, Spectrum has illegally fired dozens of workers and intimidated other. We have filed charges with the National Labor Relations Board over these serious violations of federal law.

“We successfully negotiated contracts with operators of 32 other nursing homes covering almost 4,000 long-term care workers in Connecticut – without any strikes or other job actions. The union is the same, the contract terms very similar – the only difference is the company in question, Spectrum.”

“And Spectrum is the only company who has engaged in these massive Unfair Labor Practices – that’s why there are strikes at Spectrum’s home, but were no strikes at any other nursing home.”

Spectrum also has an abysmal health and safety record. On March 10, 2010 the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) sent letters to “15,000 workplaces [nationally] with the highest numbers of injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work, restricted work activities or job transfers.” All four of the Spectrum nursing homes on the strike deadline, plus a fifth home where the contract does not expire until 2011, received the OSHA notification. According to OSHA, “[w]orkplaces receiving notifications had [illness and injury] rates more than twice the national average among all U.S. workplaces.”

Vice President Thompson said, “Among nursing home chains, Spectrum has one of the worst health and safety records in Connecticut, yet they want to slash pay for workers injured on the job to $10/hour if the nature of the injuries require lighter-duty work.”

The union has launched a TV ad campaign focused on Spectrum’s health and safety record which can be viewed below:


See also, Hartford IMC

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