Humboldt House support workers picket for a new contract

humboldt-house

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Healthcare workers at one Buffalo nursing home want a contract. The workers say they’re sick of their working conditions and pay. The workers are trying to make a living at the Humboldt House as support staff. They’re the housekeepers, the laundry workers, and the maintenance workers.

Reverend Justo Gonzalez said,”14, 15, 10 year employees and no increases. It is utterly ridiculous, and we in the faith community stand always on the side of workers and of residents.”

Members of the 1199 SEIU picketed in front of the Humboldt House – a rehab and nursing facility. Picketers say it’s understaffed.
They also say that they’re being insulted by higher-ups, and underpaid.

Kevin Tyson, a laundry worker at the facility, said, “I feel we’re being treated unfairly. I was just informed that the person that has been here the longest would get like a 5 cent raise and I think that is disrespectful, I think that’s totally disrespectful.”

Back in August, News 4 reported that people were complaining of a rodent problem at the Humboldt House. Since then, workers say they haven’t seen any rodents. But with staffing issues, it could be hard to keep up with the problem..

Kim Gibson, an organizer with SEIU 1199, said, “The vast majority of these workers, 80 percent of them are earning $11 or less, and that’s not enough to sustain a family or to be the reliable worker that we need to have in these facilities.”

The United Healthcare Workers East union says they will be meeting with the owners of the Humboldt House in Downtown Buffalo on Monday. If negotiations fail, a strike notice would be the next step. The union organizer says if a strike were to happen, it would only affect the support workers and not the LPNs or CNAs because they already have a contract.

News 4 tried to contact the Humboldt House and their owners for a statement, but no one was available.

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