CONNECTICUT, USA — Union health care workers in several towns across the state are on strike this morning.
The strike comes after they said there was a failure to reach an agreement over wages, health insurance and pensions with Sunrise, Inc. The company operates group home and daycare programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The workers are calling this a "strike for dignity."
“Most of these workers are making less than $17 an hour. They have to pay $6,000 in monthly premiums for family health insurance coverage at Sunrise, and no retirement pension to look forward to in their elder years,” said Rob Baril, president of District 1199NE. “Even after workers were able to leverage more than $184 million in additional state funding from Governor Ned Lamont’s administration, Sunrise continues to deny a fair contract for its own workers while the CEO rakes in $325,000 per year.”
Sunrise Inc. operates 28 group home and day programs serving over 160 people in multiple locations across Connecticut.
And there are 149 District 1199 New England union workers at those locations.
The workers are demanding livable wages, affordable health insurance and a pension for a workforce the union says is majority Black, Latino and working-class white women.
Sunrise Inc. said in a statement about the strike:
“We submitted requests to the state last week seeking additional funding for healthcare and retirement and are awaiting those decisions. We’ve tentatively agreed to wage increases and remain committed to negotiating, including over some Union proposals we just received last week."
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