Thousands of nursing home workers expected to go on strike

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CHICAGO (WGN) — Thousands of nursing home workers across Illinois are set to walk off the job on May 8 because they say not enough is being done to keep them safe amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

They have asked for more PPE, enhanced safety protocols, hazardous duty pay and more transparency at workplaces about coronavirus cases regarding who has gotten sick and who has died.

Nursing homes have been hit hard with dozens of facilities across the state in the eye of the storm.

Members of the Service Employees International Union that represents 10,000 employees, such as certified nursing assistants, have delivered letters to management and owners to which they say their pleas have largely been ignored.

In recent days, union membership has been voting to authorize a strike vote. Workers across the state overwhelmingly voted Monday to go on strike in over 40 different nursing homes.

Even a limited strike would heavily impact nursing homes.

The news of the strike comes as two local nursing homes came under the watchful eye of state health department officials, who called one “a place of great concern.”

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