On Thursday, October 6, 2016 workers at Elderwood Grand Island Nursing Home in Erie County voted YES to join us in the fight for higher wages, fairness and respect on the job. Workers made to the decision to join after years of deteriorating working conditions.
Workers found themselves overworked and exasperated after dealing with short staffing and stagnating wages. They were paying more and more out-of- pocket expenses for health insurance and many were fired without just cause. The workers stood strong and refused to surrender even as anti-union consultants were brought in to dissuade people from organizing.
Anti-union consultants tried a variety of tactics to keep workers from joining our movement. From promises of an internal committee to resolve issues, to threats of Elderwood closing if workers unionized, consultants tried to no avail to stop workers from voting yes.
Elderwood workers were prepared for those ploys and stood strong against them. Rachael Kerrison, an LPN who has been an employee at Grand Island for the past six years states, “I have worked in union facilities before.” She continues, “I couldn't have made a better choice than to choose 1199SEIU to support and create a better work place for my fellow employees. We now are a family with equal and fair treatment.”