Nursing home workers threaten strike over COVID-19 conditions

CICERO, Ill. (WLS) -- A group of nursing home workers is threatening to strike over COVID-19 concerns as the second wave of the virus is hitting.

Hundreds of workers at 11 Illinois locations of Infinity Health Care Management nursing homes are planning to strike on Nov. 23. Nine of those nursing homes are in the Chicago area.

Workers gathered outside City View Multicare Center in Cicero Friday afternoon, including certified nursing assistants, rehabilitation aides and housekeepers. They're demanding at least a $15 an hour wage and hazard pay with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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They have been bargaining for months.

"I feel like we are worth what we are asking for, and we need a fair contract, and if we can't get that fair contract we are going to walk, because enough is enough," said Janice Hill, certified nursing assistant.

Workers said they also want better testing protocols and proper PPE. According to the state of Illinois, there have been 249 reported COVID-19 cases, and 15 people have died from COVID-19 at City View.

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"Management had the nerve to say to us that we should continue to work, making less than $15 an hour, all while Infinity nursing homes have witnessed huge corona outbreaks," said Shantonia Jackson, certified nursing assistant.

"It's a shame that during a pandemic in a health care facility, that they are going to put profit ahead of the residents' need and what the workers need," said Shaba Andrich, SEIU Healthcare Illinois.

In the spring, Cicero filed a lawsuit over how City View was responding to the spread of the virus in the nursing home.

RELATED: 163 patients, 31 staff test positive for COVID-19 at City View Multicare Center in Cicero

ABC7 Eyewitness News reached out to Infinity Health Care Management for comment about the possible strike, but have not yet heard back.
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