ST. LOUIS—Fifty years after Martin Luther King Jr. marched with striking sanitation workers in Memphis, striking Christian Care nursing home workers will follow in his footsteps by joining in the MLK Day march as their strike enters its 7th week.
The workers, members of SEIU Healthcare Missouri and Kansas, started their unfair labor practice strike on Friday, Dec. 1 after the facility’s ongoing refusal to obey labor law and to bargain with the facility’s 100 workers in good faith and its unjust contract offers.
The striking workers will hold a speakout at 10:30AM (or at the end of the official MLK remembrance program) and then join the march as a group. They will carrying updated versions of the iconic signs from MLK’s historic march with sanitation workers 50 years ago, including signs that proclaim “I AM A WOMAN,” “I AM A MAN,” “UNION JUSTICE NOW!” and “I AM A STRIKING WORKER.” By carrying these signs, the workers will be lifting up a key tenet both of King’s historic Poor People’s Campaign and the revived campaign that inspires this year’s MLK Day March—that all people regardless of race or job title are deserving of dignity and respect.
Striking workers are participating in the march both to celebrate MLK’s legacy—at a time when they have all made prolonged personal sacrifices for both economic and racial justice—and to attract support for their fight for a fair contract. Workers are asking community members to join them in urging Christian Care Home ownership to step aside, following the facility’s failure to follow labor law, pay above-poverty-level wages, and to address its many unfair labor practices.
Workers have filed multiple unfair labor practice (ULP) charges against Christian Care Home for allegedly making unilateral changes to staffing, hours and schedules, failing to answer grievances, cancelling scheduled bargaining meetings and not being available for bargaining, failing to provide relevant information in a timely manner, and otherwise restricting workers in the exercise of their rights. More recently, workers have alleged that Christian Care Home threatened recent hires with termination for joining the strike and denied accrued and earned benefits to striking employees. The National Labor Relations Board is currently investigating that charge.
WHAT: Striking Christian Care Home Workers to Hold a Speakout and to March at St. Louis MLK Day Event
WHEN and WHERE:
Monday, January 15 (MLK Day), 2018
10:30 AM (after end of official MLK remembrance program)
Outside the Old Courthouse at 11 N. Fourth St.