About 700 mostly Chicago-area nurses leave jobs

CHICAGO – About 700 nursing home employees quit jobs at most Chicago-area Infinity Healthcare Management facilities at 11 a.m. on Monday, saying they would not return until the company offered them higher salaries and the coronovirus epidemic. of safe working conditions because that is giving tough competition to the nursing home.

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Striking employees and their union representatives, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, stood outside nursing homes in Cicero, Maywood and Chicago’s Brainerd neighborhoods, describing a list of complaints against Infinity.

Messages sent to the company seeking comment on Monday returned as inevitable, while Hilsaid, Il. Telephone calls to the company’s offices failed to reach any company representative.

Workers are demanding wages of at least $ 15 an hour, dangerous pay for all employees, and an adequate supply of personal protective equipment.

Jackie Abuledeh, who works at the Southpoint Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, said she is given only one mask for a day’s work.

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Striking workers said Infinity ceased epidemic payments for employees in late July and, despite receiving $ 12.7 million in COVID-19 funding through a federal coronavirus virus rescue package, workers below other nursing homes in the Chicago area K pays base wages.

Workers said they have been without a contract since June. WLS-TV reported that their strike affects nine nursing homes in the Chicago area. Those include the City View Multicare Center in Cicero, where employee Janice Hill said she earned $ 14.10 after 12 years and cared for 33 residents during her night shift.

In a news conference outside Hill City, Hill said, “The poverty wage that is paid to nursing home workers creates a downward spiral, where one does not want to work in a nursing home, which would have created a staffing crisis.” Is and forces good employees to leave. “

Shaba Andrich with SEIU Healthcare Illinois said the striking employees “want a threat not only to some but to all.”

“We have members who are housekeeping laundry workers, diet workers; Members are dying. I am not just talking about CNA, and not just those working directly with COVID patients, ”Andrich said.

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