1199SEIU Caregivers Stand Strong in Face of Illegal Lock-Out at Alaris Health

September 19, 2014

Twenty 1199SEIU caregivers returning to work after a 3-day strike were illegally locked out by their employer, Alaris Health, in the early morning of Friday, September 19. The workers, who are employed as certified nursing assistants, together have more than 100 years of service at Alaris nursing facilities.

Caregivers at Alaris Health at Castle Hill in Union City and Alaris Health at Harborview in Jersey City held a three-day strike this week to protest the company's numerous unfair labor practices, which have included bad faith bargaining spanning nearly six months and attempting to prevent workers from engaging in union activity through a campaign of intimidation and threats.

Under federal labor law, an employer is barred from locking out or permanently replacing workers for participating in an unfair labor practice strike. The union had notified Alaris ten days prior to the strike that its members would be returning to work this morning.

Claudia Soldana, a certified nursing assistant at Alaris Health at Castle Hill, was among the workers locked out this morning. "I've dedicated the past 13 years of my life caring for the residents at Castle Hill. We went on strike to call attention to Alaris' unfair labor practices, short staffing levels, and low pay. But now, residents are being taken care of by temporary workers who they don't even know. Our patients rely on us, and we need to get back to work."

"It is shameful that Alaris not only continues to violate the law, but has in fact ratcheted up their campaign of intimidation and retribution against workers," said Milly Silva, Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU. "These are caregivers who want nothing more than stable jobs which allow them to provide for their families and deliver quality care to their patients. Alaris must bring back all of its employees at these facilities immediately."

Union City Mayor Brian Stack accompanied caregivers as they entered Alaris Health at Castle Hill to clock-in at 7am. "This is a disgraceful and despicable act by the owners of this facility and I will do everything in my power to rally all of the other elected officials in Hudson County to help these workers," he said.

Strikes are continuing at Alaris Health at Boulevard East in Guttenberg and Alaris Health at Rochelle Park in Rochelle Park, where workers will return to the job on Saturday morning.