Workers At 11 Chicago-Area Nursing Homes Set Strike Date

Lorraine Swanson
·2 min read

CHICAGO — Workers from 11 nursing homes across the Chicago area have delivered strike notices to management, with a target strike date of Nov. 23 as COVID-19 cases surge in the Midwest.

The frontline workers, represented by Service Employees International Union have been bargaining for months with management of the Infinity Health Care. Union members want pandemic pay and living wages as the virus spreads in record-breaking numbers.

“The frontline, majority black and brown workers made the difficult decision to call a strike after months of bargaining,” the SEIU said in a news release.

A report released by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living shows weekly new cases in nursing homes and assisted living facilities due to community spread among the general population. Nearly 50 percent of the new cases are from nursing homes in the Midwest.

Johns Hopkins University reports that weekly new COVID-19 cases in the general U.S. population rose by 140 percent to 572,613,527 new cases the week of Nov. 1. A correlating uptick in new cases in nursing homes occurred when cases in the surrounding community started rising in mid-September. The numbers have already surged past previous peaks since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services started tracking cases in nursing homes.

Infinity Health Care operates 11 facilities in the Chicago area, including City View Multicare Center in Cicero, which was a hot spot for the virus during the first wave of the pandemic. Information provided by the Town of Cicero accused City View of “negligent failures” to enforce directives to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the nursing home resulting in a lawsuit.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, City View recorded 15 deaths; SEIU said the death toll included one worker. Other Infinity-owned nursing homes where workers are preparing to strike include:

Ambassador Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
4900 N. Bernard St. Chicago

City View Multi Care Center
5825 W. Cermak Road, Cicero

Continental Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
5336 N. Western Ave. Chicago

Forest View Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
535 South Elm, Itasca

Lakeview Rehabilitation and Nursing Center
735 West Diversey, Chicago

Momence Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
500 S. Walnut St., Momence

Niles Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
9777 Greenwood Ave. Niles

Oak Lawn Respiratory and Rehabilitation Center
9525 South Mayfield, Oak Lawn

Parker Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
516 West Frech St., Streator

Southpoint Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
1010 W. 95th St. Chicago

West Suburban Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
311 Edgewater Drive, Bloomingdale

Patch has reached out to Infinity for comment.

This article originally appeared on the Chicago Patch