National and Local Leaders Call for an end to the Lockout at NJ Addiction Treatment Center
On Tuesday, May 30th, Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and Phil Murphy, Candidate for NJ Governor will join nurses and health professionals illegally locked out by one of the nation’s largest for-profit addiction treatment corporations, American Addiction Centers (AAC). The 120 workers represented by HPAE, NJ’s largest healthcare union and an affiliate union of the AFT, were illegally locked out by AAC and began picketing at Sunrise House, an AAC facility in NJ on Wednesday, May 24.
Statement from Phil Murphy, Candidate for NJ Governor
“The actions taken by American Addiction Centers at Sunrise House are an egregious breach of common sense and good faith, and what is happening to HPAE’s members is simply beyond the pale,” said Phil Murphy. “I call on American Addiction Centers to immediately return to the bargaining table and settle in good faith. I am proud to stand steadfast with HPAE, and will continue to speak out until this injustice to both workers and those they care for at Sunrise House is behind us.”
Statement from Randi Weingarten, AFT President
“By locking out and refusing to bargain with its employees, the American Addiction Centers at Sunrise House has managed to completely disrupt the fragile lives of its patients. It has shut down the center with locks and chains, locking out workers and transferring patients to facilities all over the country. At a time when the nation is combating an opioid crisis, the American Addiction Centers could play a vital role in helping combat it and show the necessary compassion and expertise. Instead, it is acting like a giant bully that doesn’t care about its patients or workers,” said Randi Weingarten.
“To ensure the company knows the community is watching, I am honored to join the workers, their union leaders and Phil Murphy, candidate for governor, at a rally on Tuesday. American Addiction Centers, the for-profit corporate owner of Sunrise House, should settle this contract quickly so that the nurses, drug counselors, housekeeping workers, secretaries and others can get back to work, and patients can be returned to the facility where they belong,” added Weingarten.
Bargaining resumed between the union and AAC administrators all day Friday, May 26, but a settlement was not achieved. Both parties will return to the bargaining table on Wednesday, May 31.