Media Contact: Paola Rodelas
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Hale Nani Rehabilitation & Nursing Center workers authorize strike
Workers are striking in response to the management’s unfair treatment of workers. Three unfair labor practice charges have been filed against Hale Nani for violating federal labor law by intimidating and surveilling Union supporters who are standing up for better patient care. The Employer recently fired 2 strong Union supporters.
“We are striking because management has been trampling over our union rights. They fired two of our union leaders on trumped-up charges. They’re trying to scare us,” says Louie Bernardo, who has worked at Hale Nani as a restorative nursing assistant for 15 years.
“We’ve worked hard in the past few months to raise awareness about our need for more staffing to better care for our residents. Management is trying to intimidate us in to being quiet. They don’t want us to speak freely about working conditions,” says Holly Seui, a certified nursing assistant at Hale Nani.
Workers on strike are not discouraging patients or their families from entering the facilities. In fact, they encourage patients and their families to come to the facilities for any services they may need, especially in the case of an emergency.
Local 5 represents 211 Hale Nani workers—primarily certified nursing assistants and workers in the dietary, maintenance, recreation, and housekeeping departments. Hale Nani is owned by Utah-based Avalon Health Care, which recently purchased Hale Nani for about $44.6 million. It also owns the Avalon Care Center in Kalihi and the Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home in Hilo. It is about to open a new senior living community called Kalakua Gardens on Kalakaua Ave. across from the Hawaii Convention Center.
Local 5 represents approximately 11,000 workers throughout Hawaii who work in the hospitality, health care and food service industries and is an affiliate of UNITE HERE, an international union that represents over 250,000 workers throughout the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.unitehere5.org.
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