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News ::
Labor Board Investigation Finds Owner Threatened Employees
06 Sep 2001
Modified: 07 Sep 2001
A top manager of the Wingate at Wilbraham nursing home threatened caregivers with violence for engaging in picketing and other union activities.
After a lengthy investigation the National Labor Relations Board has concluded that a top manager of the Wingate at Wilbraham nursing home threatened caregivers with violence for engaging in picketing and other union activities. The Labor Board found that threats were made during meetings held by the employer just three days before employees were set to picket the facility.

In a complaint issued on August 27, the Board stated that Scott Schuster “threatened employees with physical violence for engaging in picketing and other protected concerted activities.” Scott Schuster is the son of Continental Wingate owner Gerald Schuster and is also the president of the company.

The Labor Board also found that Wingate management disciplined Jill Arooth, a certified nursing assistant, for her union activities. SEIU Local 285 is seeking to have the discipline removed from Ms. Arooth’s record. Ms. Arooth said, “It’s time for Wingate to stop violating our rights.”

160 workers at the nursing home voted to join SEIU Local 285 in February 1999 and have yet to come to an agreement on a first contract with Wingate Health Care, Inc., the company that owns the nursing home.

This is not the first time that the NLRB has cited the nursing home with unfair labor practices. In October 2000, the Labor Board issued a complaint against Wingate charging that the company had fired, harassed and discriminated against employees for being involved in union activities, attempted to replace the regular workforce with temporary workers, and failed to bargain in good faith with union employees.

In May 2001, the company opted to settle the case with the NLRB rather than go to trial. The settlement included back pay for 102 employees, as well as an agreement by Wingate to return to the bargaining table and negotiate in good faith with employees.

SEIU is the nation’s largest health care union and the largest union in Massachusetts. SEIU Local 285 represents nursing home, hospital, mental health and other health care and public sector workers across Massachusetts. At Wingate at Wilbraham, the union represents nurses, nursing assistants, housekeepers, dietary employees, secretaries, and other employees.

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See also:
www.seiu285.org
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Tell them how you feel
07 Sep 2001
Tell them how you feel:

email them at JChmielewski (at) wingatehealthcare.com