NJ Nursing Home Workers Will Strike in Burlington

Workers at Complete Care at Marcella nursing home will strike for 24 hours on Wednesday 11/17 to protest unfair labor practices and massive cuts to the quality of their jobs which have left workers without access to affordable health insurance and other critical benefits.

WHEN:
Workers will begin marching the strike line outside of their institution starting at 6AM on Wednesday, 11/17. Press availability all day. In-person, video, and phone interviews with striking workers can be arranged.

WHERE:
Complete Care at Marcella— 2305 Rancocas Rd, Burlington, NJ 08016

VISUALS:
Nursing home workers marching, holding signs, and chanting in front of their facility.

WHO/WHAT:
Nursing home workers, members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, who are employed as certified nursing assistants (CNAs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), dietary aides, recreation aides, and housekeepers.

WHY:
Workers at Marcella will be striking on Wednesday, November 17 to protest unfair labor practices and demand immediate, sweeping improvements to their jobs which have seen massive cuts under Complete Care Management. They have penned an open letter to the community which can be read here. Workers at Complete Care at Green Knoll in Bridgewater will also be striking.

Marcella was purchased alongside several other institutions in April, 2021. Workers have since experienced skyrocketing costs of medical care, wage freezes, the elimination of pension contributions and educational benefits, and significantly reduced paid time off. Meanwhile, Complete Care Management, backed by private equity firm Peace Capital, has continued to buy up more skilled nursing facilities across New Jersey, becoming the largest nursing home operator in the state—while their employees suffer from unpaid medical bills and other hardships.

1199SEIU has filed unfair labor practices charges against Complete Care nursing homes at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The charges include illegally eliminating hazard pay and increasing healthcare premiums, retaliation related to union activity, and failure to bargain in good faith.

“For a long time, my doctor has prescribed me medication to treat sickle cell anemia and my acid reflux. But our new insurance won’t cover it and I can’t afford the cost out of pocket. Now I’m having to skip my medication and I’m worried about my health. You have to be strong and healthy to work in a nursing home,” said Vinnie Williams who has worked as a cook at Marcella for 27 years.

“Complete Care Management’s illegal and immoral behavior towards their employees is totally unacceptable. We do not wish to strike, but management has pushed workers to the breaking point. The appalling way that this company is treating ‘healthcare heroes’—after everything they have sacrificed over the past year and a half—needs to stop, now.” said Clauvice St. Hilaire, Vice President at 1199SEIU.

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1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in New Jersey and nationwide. We represent over 16,000 healthcare families in New Jersey and over 450,000 total members throughout New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida, and Washington, D.C.   Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.

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