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GUEST POST: “Judge grants injunction vs. HealthBridge in long strike”

Thursday, December 13, 2012
Time: 1:59 PM

The following guest post regarding the strike against HealthBridge Management is from Deborah Chernoff, Communications Director for the New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199 (SEIU Healthcare). -ctblogger.

A major step forward this week for our communities, patients and their families, and the workers who care for them at the Danbury Health Care Center and the other nursing homes operated by HealthBridge in Connecticut. Federal judge Robert Chatigny last night took the extremely rare step of issuing an injunction against the New Jersey-based for-profit nursing home corporation for its illegal and unfair treatment of nursing home workers that forced nearly 600 of them out on strike in July.

In his ruling, the judge ordered HealthBridge to reinstate all striking workers to their former positions by December 17. The ruling also ordered HealthBridge to reinstate the previous wages, benefits and other terms of employment that were in place under the workers’ prior contract. Replacement workers hired by HealthBridge will be let go.

It’s been over five months since members of our union -- nurses, aides, and nursing home support staff – were forced to strike against HealthBridge, after the company illegally and unilaterally imposed a new contract with severe ramifications for the their compensation, benefits, and working conditions. An independent federal agency, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), is in the process of prosecuting several Complaints against the company. The judge’s ruling for an injunction essentially means workers get to go back to doing what they do best – taking care of patients – while the NLRB charges are considered by the courts over the coming months.

Last night’s decision in favor of workers and against HealthBridge is one of several that have been handed down in recent months. Administrative law judges have issued two additional rulings finding the company guilty of violating federal laws intended to protect workers' rights.

 The Labor Board only seeks injunctive relief in the most egregious cases. In 2011, the Board filed for an injunction in fewer than 4 percent of all federal Complaints issued.

Our members were thrilled to hear the news last night and at a meeting held this morning at our union hall in Hartford. "The judge’s decision to grant an injunction validates everything my coworkers and I have said about the horrible way HealthBridge has treated us," said Eileen Underwood, a nurse at the Danbury Health Care Center. "All we want is to be able to care for our patients and at the same time support our own families, and with this ruling we are one very big step closer to getting back to work, where we belong."

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On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.

The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.

Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.

Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.



Danbury Area Coalition for the Rights of Immigrants v.
U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
3:06-cv-01992-RNC ( D. Conn. )

(02.25.08) Court docket

(10.24.07) Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant's Emergency Motion for Protective Order

(09.26.07) Press Release

(12.14.06) Complaint

Barrera v. Boughton, No. 07-01436
(D. Conn. filed Sept. 26, 2007)

(02.25.08) Court Docket

Amended complaint

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction

Defendants' Motion to Dismiss State Law Claims

Plaintiffs' Opposition to Motion to Dismiss

Order on Motion to Dismiss

Defendants' Answer to Amended Complaint

NEW HAVEN REGISTER: Immigrant's 2006 arrest was flawed Danbury mayor testifies

(10.05.07 (VIDEO) Boughton mislead the public about Danbury's involvement in raid

(09.18.07) Yale Law Students expose Danbury involvement in raid

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Interview with Yale Law Students at FOI presser

(12.14.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 FOI complaint media roundup

City Clerk Jean Natale standing next to skinhead sparks outrage

(10.03.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 rally

(09.29.06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 case deepens

Word of raid spread across the country

(09/29/06) VIDEO: Danbury 11 protest news conference

(09/29/06) Immigrant newspaper "El Canillita" gives best account of ICE day labor raid at Kennedy Park

trans_button Santos Family Story
VIDEO: Tereza Pereira's ordeal with ICE agents

VIDEO: Danbury Peace Coalition Immigration Forum (April 2006)
featuring Mayor Boughton and Immigration attorney Philip Berns

VIDEO: 2007 Stop the Raids immigration forum at WCSU

2007: Community protest anti-immigration forum

A tribute to Hispanic Center Director and immigrant activist Maria Cinta Lowe

Lowest Gas Prices in Danbury
Danbury Gas Prices provided by GasBuddy.com

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