About 250 workers at 3 nursing homes associated with Optalis management have announced strikes starting Tuesday, Oct. 10 and Wednesday, Oct. 11
The facilities include Four Seasons (Westland), Greenfield (Royal Oak), and Fountain Bleu (Livonia)
Westland, Mich. – Close to 250 workers at 3 nursing homes in metro Detroit delivered strike notices last Friday and Saturday for strikes starting on Tuesday, October 10 and Wednesday, October 11. The Four Seasons strike will begin on October 10, whereas the Greenfield and Fountain Bleu strikes will start the following day on October 11. Workers are fighting for safe staffing, wages competitive with other nursing homes in the region, and improved benefits such as affordable health insurance.
All three nursing homes are connected with Optalis Management. In 2020, nursing home workers at Four Seasons went on strike for 3 days in Westland, winning a contract that raised wages and increased benefits for members.
“It’s a shame that we are once again forced to strike for a contract with competitive wages and benefits. Our residents deserve safe staffing and the highest levels of quality care, and that starts with staff retention and recruitment. We are ready to stand together once again and strike for the contract that we deserve,” said Sirlina Carlos, a restorative CNA for over 19 years at Four Seasons Nursing Home.
At Fountain Bleu, members have been working without a contract for over 5 years. SEIU Healthcare Michigan has filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) against Fountain Bleu because they failed to provide back pay they owed, violating the law.
“Instead of paying us the back pay we won through our case with the National Labor Relations Board, Fountain Bleu is paying hundreds of dollars per hour to lawyers who refuse to negotiate a fair contract with us. This is outrageous – we’ve been going back and forth for close to 5 years. It’s time to take action and win a contract that respects workers at Fountain Bleu,” said Angela Davenport, dietary worker for over 5 years at Fountain Bleu.
Optalis workers are part of more than 1,000 nursing home workers who are launching campaigns for new contracts in Michigan this fall. They also join hundreds of thousands of workers across the country who are fighting for contracts in unions such as UAW, United Healthcare Workers, and SAG-AFRA.