Christmas strikers at Christian Care Home need our help to sustain their families

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STRIKING NURSING HOME workers at Christian Care Home in Ferguson need your help as they seek a modest raise and an end to unfair labor practices by the home’s management. St. Louis Labor Council President Pat White is asking for direct contributions to help the workers as they face the holidays and the winter months without a paycheck. – SEIU Healthcare photo

$5 for Fight helping, but funds are limited. Can you help both?

The $5 for the Fight Fund is going back to its roots by supporting strikers at Christian Care Home where already underpaid workers are fighting for a living wage.

The Fight Fund began in 1996 as a successful effort to support striking Machinists at McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing), raising over $100,000 to help striking families live through their 99-day strike.

This year, the nursing assistants, dietary care workers and housekeepers who deal directly with elderly patients at Christian Care Home were forced to strike on Dec. 1 after six months of trying to negotiate a renewal contact were stonewalled by management.

The 100 members of SEIU Healthcare Missouri and Kansas reluctantly hit the streets when management’s answer was “Nothing” in response to workers’ request for a 75-cent raise and resolution of numerous unfair labor practice charges alleging violation of the conditions of the current contract.

“Imagine how bad it has to be to walk out on a job that pays less than a living wage at this time of year,” said Labor Council President Pat White in an appeal for direct help for striking workers.  “It has to be bad and I am sure most of us have no idea what they are going through. Please find a way to help these brothers and sisters.  An injustice to one of us is an injustice to all of us!”

EXAMPLES OF THE NEED

• A nursing home worker with a young child is on the verge of losing her house on Jan. 1 because she can’t make her mortgage payment.

• Disconnection notices during the coldest months of the year have been received by a number of workers from Laclede Gas and AmerenUE.

• Striker with two children, husband on disability, needs money for her insulin shots, is behind on rent and utilities and her car just broke down.

DIRECT STRIKE DONATIONS

While strikers will be getting some help from the Fight Fund, demands on the Fund’s meager resources –– less than $15,000 at press time –– continue with many other workers in need. That’s why an appeal is being made of everyone to directly help the striking workers now.

Here’s how you can help:

• Donate groceries, holiday gifts – Food contributions can be dropped off at the pantry at Greater St Mark’s Church, 9950 Glen Owen Dr, St. Louis, MO 63136 between 9 a.m. and noon every day. Contact Audrey Hollis at 314-435-0414 for more information.

• Make strike fund contribution – Christian Care Home workers have gone nearly three weeks without a paycheck and urgently need financial support to pay for basic necessities such as rent, heat, gas and food. Workers could also lose their health insurance.

Make checks payable to: SEIU Healthcare IL Strike Fund and mail to SEIU Healthcare Missouri, 5585 Pershing Ave., Suite 230, St. Louis, MO 63112. An online site will be set up soon.

$5 for FIGHT FUND NEEDS HELP, TOO 

You can make another gift to help more union families via the $5 for the Fight Fund, here’s how:

• Mail a check or money order to “$5 for the Fight,” c/o St. Louis Labor Council, 3301 Hollenberg Drive, Bridgeton, MO 63044. Please include your union affiliation.

• Make an online donation by visiting labortribune.com and clicking on “Donate $5 for the Fight” in the right-hand column.

• Recurring credit card donation – Go to labortribune.com and click on “Donate $5 for the Fight Donations” to be taken to the secure donations page. After setting your donation amount, open the “Repeat Donation” men you to set the frequency of your donation. If you set a monthly donation, your contribution will automatically be billed to your credit card each month.

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