Ferguson, Missouri nursing home workers in fourth month of strike
3 March 2018
Workers at the Christian Care Home facility in Ferguson, Missouri are entering their fourth month on strike with their struggle being isolated by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
At least 65 full-time workers and 25 part-time workers have been on strike since December 1 when after several months of negotiations no agreement on a new contract could be reached. In a letter sent in December to the striking employees the Christian Care Home indicated that they had been permanently replaced.
The attorney representing the workers told the St Louis Post Dispatch that though workers cannot be fired under the law, if they are replaced they would lose preference to return to their jobs over subsequently hired employees.
Contract negotiations began in July of 2017, with the SEIU asking for a 75-cent across the board raise, a derisory amount that would still leave workers deep in poverty. However, Christian Care Home offered them a nickel. The median income for a nursing assistant at Christian Care is $9.65 an hour. The area standard is $1.60 per hour higher. The median annual nursing assistant salary for a full time worker in the US is $29,164, which roughly translates to about $15 per hour.
The SEIU is touting a ruling Wednesday by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that it found merit in a complaint filed by the union charging management with engaging in unfair labor practices. The union filed the charges in late November citing the owners, Christian Woman’s Benevolent Association for “making unilateral changes to staffing, hours and schedules without negotiating these, failing to answer grievances, canceling scheduled bargaining meetings and not being…