Workers from Beauvais Manor and Hillside Manor demand to be met at the bargaining table
By TIM ROWDEN
Frontline workers from Hillside Manor and Beauvais Manor, represented by SEIU Healthcare Missouri, are demanding the nursing homes’ owners – Luxor – recognize their union contract, make improvements to the facilities, have their wages restored to higher levels, and treat workers with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Union members and faith leaders rallied outside Beauvais Manor on Oct. 25 and delivered a posterboard-size petition signed by workers at Beauvais and Hillside Manor demanding Luxor recognize their contract and bargain in good faith.
In St. Louis, nursing homes are being purchased by out-of-state corporations, like Luxor, that fail to hire enough full-time regular staff, need to provide additional training at employer cost, and regularly pay workers poverty wages while obstructing the rights of frontline essential workers.
“Nursing home workers all across the St. Louis region are united in our demands for transformation in our nursing home industry, which starts with listening to the residents and workers like me who care for them,” said Theresa Sullivan, an SEIU Healthcare member and laundry and housekeeping attendant at Beauvais Manor for nearly nine years.
“St. Louis seniors are in crisis and so are the caregivers they count on,” she said. “More and more nursing homes in this city and county are being purchased by out-of-state corporations. A year ago, Beauvais Manor and Hillside Manor were bought by Luxor, and in that year we have seen short staffing, workers without enough training, refusal to pay workers for holidays, wages being lowered, and a lack of dignity and respect.
“Luxor has, again and again, turned their backs on workers and residents,” Sullivan said. “In the time since they took over ownership, things have gone downhill. Workers are not being paid for holidays, and many of us with years of service to these residents are ignored or passed over. Our service and dedication is not respected.”
UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES
The National Labor Relations Board has found merit to the unfair labor practices complaints against Luxor, including the termination of union stewards and union-represented employees, changes to holiday pay policies, retaliating against an employee for participating in a union rally, decreasing wage rates, and refusing to provide information relevant for collective bargaining.
A trial against Luxor is scheduled to start in January 2023, but Sullivan said Luxor continues to deny the rights of workers.
“It’s time for this out-of-state corporation get to know the workers they employ, recognize our contract, and treat us with the dignity and respect we deserve,” Sullivan said.
STRUGGLING TO MEET PATIENT NEEDS
Annie Henderson, a CNA at Beauvais for 31 years, said Luxor continues to sit back and watch as workers struggle and patient needs go unattended.
“We don’t have the supplies we need to properly care for the residents, or the housekeeping supplies to maintain the home. We are short nursing staff, and basic paperwork and administrative needs are a mess,” Henderson said.
Henderson said Beauvais is losing workers because of the company’s practices, and residents are paying the price.
“Workers like me and my co-workers are being pushed to the limit to keep this industry hanging on by a thread,” she said. “It’s women of color like me that are doing these jobs. We’re overworked and underpaid, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence. The care work we do and services we provide have long been dismissed and devalued due to racism and sexism. It’s time workers of every race and background be respected, protected and paid.
‘FOR THE RESIDENTS’
“My friends and family ask why I keep working here, and for me it’s my residents,” Henderson said. “I have cared for many of these people for years.
“We know better than anyone what our industry needs: accountability, transparency and good union jobs that can sustain our loved ones. Luxor is out of touch with reality, and they only care about one thing – the money lining their pockets,” she said.
“We won’t sit back and watch as things go downhill. We’re stepping up and demanding Luxor see workers and residents as real people who deserve higher wages, better safety, and dignity and respect.”
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November 8, 2022 at 07:11AM