Nursing home workers at Guardian Angels in Elk River finished a two-day Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike this morning. The group of over 100 workers, are members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and do housekeeping, laundry, health unit coordinating, dietary and nursing assistance, recreation and maintenance.

Throughout the Two-day ULP strike, workers have been joined by community supporters at the picket line.

Avis Lage, who has worked as a dietary aide at Guardian Angels for seven years, explained why she went on strike: 

“We are on strike for our residents, our jobs and our whole community. We are proud that our work has made Guardian Angels a 5-star facility, but we are disappointed that management doesn’t seem willing to listen to us and show their longtime staff the respect we have earned. We are fighting for safe staffing levels and pay that rewards the amazing work done every day in our facility so that 5-star work can continue into the future.”

The workers voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike earlier this month. The union is accusing the employer of refusing to make an offer that respects their dedicated workforce. The two sides have held over 10 bargaining sessions, with the employer thus far unwilling to meet the group’s demands for safe staffing levels, respect for workers who want a collective voice, and investment in dedicated staff to keep quality standards high.

Prior reporting from Workday noted that Guardian Angels has been a largely successful non-profit enterprise. According to 2017 tax documents Guardian Angels made $1,806,640 in profit, with President and CEO Daniel C. Dixon being paid $226,658 that same year.

In a statement to Kare11 Guardian Angels commented that

“the stalemate has nothing to do with wages, benefits, or working conditions. They say SEIU is holding up a settlement by insisting that paid union organizers have access inside the Care Center.”
No new bargaining dates have been set.

 

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