This past week, the workers (close to 150) at Lakeside Nursing Home in Ithaca ratified a contract that is favorable to their interests. The Workers’ Center would like to thank the over 100 Workers’ Center members and supporters who showed up in bitter cold Ithaca weather several weekends ago during our Informational Picket to stand witness to the workers need for a fair contract, a Living Wage, and reasonable working conditions. As well, a holler out to the amazing amount of supporters who sent faxes to Lakeside’s corporate owners, Peregrine Health Management Company, in response to our Action Alert.
Says union organizer Baschki Leo, “The members of 1199SEIU and bargaining team at Lakeside Nursing Home won wage increases and improvements in working conditions after a long battle with a recalcitrant, and less than cooperative employer. The Tompkins County Workers’ Center was the key to a pivotal public campaign leading into the final bargaining session with management. Linda Holzbaur and Kenny Ritter, Workers’ Center members and founders of Lakeside Families and Friends, led a creative and important campaign with the residents and resident families inside the facility which united the workers’ struggle with the residents’ need for quality care. As always, Solidarity works!”
Our being at Lakeside is part of the Workers’ Center’s larger commitment to economic justice and to organizing with low-wage workers, especially service and retail workers. We are raising the bar for what we workers should expect:
*the right to a Living Wage;
*the right to guaranteed health care;
*the right to organize freely and fairly for change and a voice in the workplace.
The Lakeside victory comes within the context of increasing worker victories taking place around the country, including the Republic Windows factory in Chicago and the successful unionization vote that took place at the Smithfield meatpacking plant in North Carolina, campaigns both strongly supported by our national affiliation, Jobs with Justice.