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Conn. nursing home locks out union workers after stalled bargaining

December 14, 2011
by Kevin Kolus
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Nursing home operator HealthBridge Management said Wednesday it is prepared to lock out an additional 700 workers from facilities in Connecticut, on top of 100 already locked out from a single facility, after accusing the workers’ union of illegal picketing, The Hartford Courant reported.

According to The Hartford Courant report, HealthBridge locked out union members Tuesday from West River Health Care Center in Milford because the company was frustrated by 10 months of labor negations with no progress made toward a bargain.

The company then said it had filed a complaint with a federal agency, stating that the striking West River Health Care Center union workers have broken a law barring picketing at healthcare facilities without 10 days notice.

“The union's attorney disagrees that picketing at West River is illegal,” The Hartford Courant reported. “The law does require 10-day notice for a strike, so that a nursing home can prepare with security and replacement staff. Since HealthBridge controlled the timing of this disruption, that makes the rule moot, according to Deborah Chernoff, spokeswoman at District 1199 of the Service Employees International Union.”

The SEIU spokeswoman confirmed that picketing would continue at West River Health Care Center as long as the lockout lasts.

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