Local Stories

Lengthy Nursing Homes Strike Impacting Many Latinos

Lengthy Nursing Homes Strike Impacting Many Latinos

By Wayne Jebian

CONNECTICUT — With health care as one of the largest areas of employment for Latinos, a four month old strike by 700 workers at nursing home facilities operated by HealthBridge Management in Newington, Danbury and other locations around the state is impacting a large number of Latinos.

Juan Farfan, a nurse’s aide for 20 years at the Danbury Health Care Center says, ““We’ve got to settle soon; snow will be coming, my wife and I worked there together. Now we have no insurance. Imagine being outside in the winter; we could get sick. It’s going to be hard.”

The winter may come and go before anything is settled. Complaints filed by the National Labor Relations Board on behalf of the striking workers and their union, New England Health Care Employees Union, District 1199, are winding their way through federal court. The first ruling is not expected until at least the end of this month, and even a favorable ruling may not translate into results for the workers.

[caption id="attachment_20877" align="alignright" width="300"] Newington striker Grisel Santos with her daughter Janesa[/caption]

“It’s not the people here we have a problem with – the managers or the director – they’re good people. We’re like family,” said Farfan, emphasizing that the workers’ dispute was not with their on-site supervisors. “They’re not the problem; it’s the big guy, the owner,” he said.

The roots of this strike are entangled in the system of healthcare compensation in which nursing homes and their employees are ensnared. Last year, the federal government cut Medicare payments to nursing homes by 11 percent.

Faced with this cut in revenue, nursing homes around the country looked to cut costs, and workers’ health coverage was a starting point with a move to shift these costs to the employees, who themselves often can’t afford to pay it.

In a statement to CTLatinoNews.com, Lisa Crutchfield, senior vice president of labor relations for HealthBridge, said, “We had been negotiating in good faith with the union when it chose to abandon negotiations, jobs and our residents. For 17 months, the union made untenable demands while refusing to engage.

“The Health Care Centers’ contract proposals were rooted in simple economic reality. … The economic reality is that our businesses will no longer bend to the lavish demands of a union that still lives in a world of 8.5 percent employee pension contributions and free health insurance. That world is vastly different from the one in which the rest of the country lives.”

But workers like Elodia Rivera, who has worked at the Newington location for 23 years, says…

Finish reading Lengthy Nursing Homes Strike Impacting Many Latinos

View Comments (2)


  1. Andhra Pradesh Tenders

    November 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks for discussing so much details,  It is employed to understand what the factors are as I slam up my composing a blog.

  2. Eric Sadeh

    January 14, 2013 at 2:00 am

    I was studying some of your content on this site and I believe this web site is very informative ! Continue putting up.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Local Stories

More in Local Stories


Drone Technology Takes Filmmakers to New Heights

Latina ListaNovember 24, 2015

California School District Declares State of Emergency over Student Homelessness

Latina ListaNovember 23, 2015

Reconsidering the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo

Latina ListaNovember 19, 2015

Making Breastfeeding The Norm Among Hartford, CT’s Inner City Latinas

Latina ListaNovember 18, 2015

Congresswomen Loretta Sánchez fights for the environment and binational rights

Latina ListaNovember 17, 2015

Tucson school garden grows sustainable students

Latina ListaNovember 16, 2015

Latino Tennessean José Vázquez: A bracero for life

Latina ListaNovember 12, 2015

High-speed rail between San Antonio, Texas and Monterrey, Mexico will happen

Latina ListaNovember 11, 2015

Internet radio DJ shares passion with Bluffton, South Carolina Latinos

Latina ListaNovember 10, 2015