SHENANDOAH, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Hundreds of nursing home employees across the state and at home are continuing to strike against what they say are unfair labor practices.
It was day six on strike for workers from 14 different nursing homes statewide. While Tuesday’s rain did wash out a special vigil planned by striking workers at a facility in Schuylkill County, it did not put a damper on their spirits.
Holding signs and umbrellas, a crowd chanted outside Ridgeview Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Shenandoah. These workers have been on strike since last Friday when contract negotiations broke off with ownership group Shenandoah Heights Healthcare LLC.
Among those picketing from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. is dietary aide Marlina Miha who has worked for the company for eight years.
“We are here fighting for our healthcare, our contracts, and better staffing,” stated Marlina Miha, a dietary aide.
Miha says she and her fellow employees have been without a contract since January and say they want better wages.
“I thought everybody would be fair enough to think about how important we are since we worked through the pandemic, and we are important, and they don’t see that,” Miha added.
Dietary Cook Diane Zuber says they’re not just advocating for themselves but also the residents on the inside.
“The food budget is horrible, I’ll be honest. Residents need more staffing to take care of them, we need more food to feed them. We need everybody out here to support us to get what we need to go back inside to take care of our residents,” Diane Zuber, dietary cook.
The energy that’s shared with roughly 700 nursing home employees who are on strike statewide.
“We all want to work together and fight together for a better place,” Miha continued.
Attempts to reach the ownership company were unsuccessful. The workers, Eyewitness News spoke to say they’ll continue to strike, rain or shine.