Communist Party USA
The following report was given at the National Committee meeting on October 31, 2021. Today is the 27th day of the New England 1199 Union Health Care Workers Strike at Sunrise in Connecticut. The strikers are group home workers that service people with developmental disabilities. Sunrise workers are on strike for livable wages, pensions, health care, and dignity and respect. This strike is part of the national wave, and it is also part of the CT wave, where 1199 just rejoined the AFL-CIO and is helping to shape organizing around economic and racial justice issues and building unity that can win many victories. 1199’s leadership with the broad CT Recovery for All Coalition demanding taxes on the rich to fully fund social services in the legislative session enabled 1199 and other public-sector workers to negotiate excellent pay raises and benefits. The caregivers at other similar 1199 facilities settled a contract for a 20% increase in wages for the lowest paid workers and a 90% reduction in health costs. The Sunrise group home workers are solid coming out of the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter uprising despite difficult odds. They have the full support of the whole community and labor movement. The majority of the caregivers on strike are Black, Latina, and working-class white women. The Sunrise Corporation is in six states. The CEO lives in Florida with an income of $325,000 a year. The 1199 union members at group homes, nursing homes, and other facilities have endorsed a “Long term Care Workers Bill of Rights” that calls for a $20 hourly wage, a pension, and lower cost health insurance. Our Party has been part of the strike support from the beginning, bringing people and the People’s World to the picket line, supporting the main organizers, and taking up the strike in our clubs. Before COVID we had been delivering the CT People’s World to the 1199 labor hall and one of the nursing homes for many years. We have developed an excellent relationship with 1199 leadership and staff. We plan to continue to work with caregivers on strike and 1199 to give support where we can, deliver the People’s World to the picket line, and expand the pressure on Sunrise to settle this strike. The good fight continues! Image: SEIU 1999 (Facebook).
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CPUSA stands with striking SEIU 1199 workers