FORT MYERS, Fla.- The union nursing home workers want to be paid at least fifteen dollars an hour and better health insurance. They wanted to make sure their voices were heard. Some of their chants included phrases like, "No one should be working poor."
Gail Bruno has worked at Consulate Health Care for the past eighteen years. She believes it is time for a change. "We are asking for fifteen dollars over a three year period."
Bruno telling Fox 4 it's something workers in all fields can relate to. "Everybody deserves a better wage, they really do," she said.
Bruno and the United Healthcare Workers Union went to the bargaining table. But, Consulate Health Care rejected their proposal. Workers said now is the time to stand up for themselves. "The Union has taught all of us not to give up. To really fight for what we really want."
Workers at Coral Trace Health Care in Cape Coral also walked off the job. They were upset about a nearby sign advertising eighteen dollars an hour for seasonal work. "For us to be working here for that long in order for them to offer other people eighteen dollars, seasonal, to work. This is a slap in the face," said one nursing home worker.
Consulate Health Care released this statement: "While we are disappointed in the union's decision to strike, the continuity of patient and resident care will remain unaffected... We will continue to work in good faith as we have always done towards a resolution."