Saturday, September 11, 2010


Photo above: The crowd, led by an interfaith group of clergy, sang "We Shall Overcome" today as part of the church service to support the 1199 Spectrum strikers who have been on strike since April 15, 2010. [Click on photo for full screen]

Photo above: The Rev. Stephen Camp, pastor of Faith Church in Hartford, CT led off the service to support the nearly 400 Spectrum strikers. Rev. Camp's mother was a patient at Park Place in Hartford until she passed. Park Place is one of four Spectrum facilities on strike.

Several hundred people including clergy, community supporters, elected officials and strikers attended a gathering today at Faith Church in Hartford, CT to support the fight for a fair contract for the Spectrum strikers.

Rev. Camp led the speakers and set the tone of the gathering. He noted that justice in the form of a fair contract and not greed of the owners should be the guide for future negotiations. Over 30 other nursing homes in Connecticut have settled their contracts without a strike but Spectrum decided they will try to break the union and increase profits.

In June of 2010 the union workers won a significant victory. The Department of Labor ruled that the Spectrum strikers where eligible for unemployment benefits. Their ruling stated in part that the workers "...had been permanently replaced, and that their unemployment was no longer due to the existence of a labor dispute." State law prohibits strikers who have not been locked out by their employer from receiving unemployment benefits, but there are exceptions. Spectrum Healthcare had hired permanent replacements for the striking workers, and told the union workers that they would not automatically be given their jobs back if they returned, but would be placed on a "recall list."

Spectrum continues not to negotiate in good faith and has cause hardships to the courageous 1199 striking workers who are determined to win justice for their patients' and themselves.

Photo Above: Dori Harrington, LPN, striker at Park Place in Hartford speaks to the crowd with her two sons by her side.

Ms. Harrington spoke emotional about the difficulty of being a single parent of two boys and being on strike. She said that she became very close to her co-workers during the strike and deeply appreciates the support of the clergy and those who are supporting the stickers. She said that through sticking together "we will win this strike." [See other photos below]


JOIN THE PICKET LINES ANYTIME BETWEEN 6 AM AND 12 MIDNIGHT at the following strike locations:

Birmingham Health Center, 210 Chatfield Street, DerbyCT
Hilltop Health Center, 126 Ford Street, Ansonia
Laurel Hill Healthcare, 106 East Lake Street, Winsted
Park Place Health Center, 5 Greenwood Street, Hartford


Send a donation to: The 1199 Strike and Defense Fund. Checks should be sent to: District 1199, 77 Huyshope Avenue , Hartford , CT 06106. The union has been on strike since April 15, 2010

Photo above: Striker Danyale Nesmith from Hilltop Healthcare in Ansonia, Ct

Photo above: Striker Taycha Trinidad, with her daughter after speaking to the crowd.

Photo above: Some to the clergy speakers [from left to right] - Rev. Bryan Hooper, Unithed Methodist Church of Hartford -- Rev. Josh Pawelek, UUC -- Iman Kashif Abdul-Karim, Muhammad Islamic Center of Greater Hartford and Rev. Stehen Camp, Faith Church.

Photo above: Rev. Sonia Gutierrez, from House of Restoration Church. Rev. Gutierrez was one of the key organizers for the strike support worship.

Photo above: Faith Church soloist Pateicla Gray

Photo above: Carmen Boudier, president of New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199

Posted and photos by Tom Connolly

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