Entering second week, Chicago area nursing home worker strike continues

CHICAGO — Now entering its second week, the nursing home worker strike at facilities owned by Infinity Healthcare continues on.

Monday, union employees from SEIU continued their public campaign to get better wages and protective gear.

SEIU said Infinity Healthcare suspended hazardous duty pandemic pay in July, despite getting $12.7M from the federal governor as part of the CARES Act.

Around 700 employees of Infinity Healthcare have been without a contract since June.

The nursing home workers are asking for hazard pay, a higher wage, proper staffing, more PPE and a safer work environment.

Workers said the mask Infinity provides to each employee per shift is not ideal.

“They get sweaty, fall apart and are not rated,” said UIC nurse Paul Pater.

Infinity owns 11 long-term care facilities in Chicago and surrounding suburbs.

SEIU union leadership said some employees have already died from COVID-19 they got on the job at Infinity.

Employees have been without a contract since June.

While replacement workers are in Infinity facilities now, SEIU arranged a special reunion on Monday.

Jay, who has been living at an Infinity facility for the last two years, was able to speak to Ros, her CNA.

“This is the first time all week I’ve gotten to see Ros,” said Jay. “I love you.”

Ros was so glad to reconnect.

“I love you too. We’ll be back. I don’t know when. I can’t promise you when,” Ros said. “Hold on, sweetie.”

Chicago News