Piedmont Gardens Indicted for Discriminating Against Workers and Violating Workers’ Rights and Federal Labor Law
Oakland– Dedicated caregivers at the retirement community–members of the Service Employees International Union–United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW)–will likely return to work after being illegally permanently replaced while on strike last August. In a complaint issued this week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found evidence to indict Piedmont Gardens owner American Baptist Homes of the West (ABHOW) for engaging in unfair labor practices against its workers for the last year.
“Our residents are our family and we’ve been providing care here for years,” said Sanjanette Fowler, a dietary cook at Piedmont Gardens for 12.5 years and one of 38 workers who will be returned to work. “Our union is strong, we know our rights and we’re not giving up. This complaint sends a clear message to management that they can’t get away with violating workers’ rights.”
The NLRB determined that ABHOW interfered with, restrained and coerced, and discriminated against workers by replacing them with new employees while they were on strike. Caregivers went on strike for five days in August 2010 when it became clear that management wanted to create conditions at the nursing home that would make it increasingly impossible for them to work there. For example, management committed multiple unfair labor practices as well as proposed charging caregivers over $1,000 a year for healthcare and another $1,000-1,500 in annual deductibles to use it.
“We’re a family at Piedmont Gardens. The residents are very, very excited about the news the NLRB has ruled in favor of the workers–we’ve been waiting a long time,” said Dorothy Rice, President of the Independent Resident Council of Piedmont Gardens. “It’s time management does the right thing and reinstates these caregivers right away. We look forward to welcoming them back.”
As part of this complaint, the NLRB is requesting ABHOW must submit all payroll records, Social Security payment records, timecards, personnel records and all other reports necessary to analyze the amount of back pay due employees’ upon their reinstatement to work at Piedmont Gardens. The NLRB will hold a hearing on the complaint on May 24, 2011.