Millbrae health care workers go on strike

February 22, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Health care workers at Emmanuel Convalescent Hospital in Millbrae began striking at about 6 a.m. today over allegations the hospital's new management has been violating federal labor laws.

Approximately 50 health care workers were gathered outside the nursing facility at about 6:30 a.m., according to Mason Stockstill, a spokesperson for SEIU United Healthcare Workers West.

A&C Health Care Services recently purchased the nursing home and is refusing to recognize or acknowledge the union, Stockstill said.

"They took away every benefit we had," Mau Kiliona, a health care worker participating in today's strike, said of the nursing facility's new management.

A&C Health Care Services Chief Financial Officer Ampy Ragudo said the company is in compliance with all state and federal laws.

The strike is scheduled to last 24 hours, according to Stockstill.

"We are out here to fight for our benefits," Kiliona said today. "We will go back to work tomorrow morning."

About 80 health care workers are employed at the nursing facility, all of whom voted unanimously to strike, according to Stockstill.

Health care workers include everyone but administrators and nurses, Stockstill said.

A rally is scheduled for 2 p.m. today outside the nursing facility at 33 Mateo Ave., Stockstill said.