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Almost 700 Chicago nursing home workers go on strike amid virus surge

The employees are demanding a higher wage, and management has not agreed.

(Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images)
Updated: November 23, 2020 - 6:05pm

Nursing home workers in Chicago walked off the job Monday morning after demanding higher wages and safer working conditions amid the roughly eight-month-long coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged the facilities in which they work.

Most of the nearly 700 striking employees work for Infinity Healthcare Management facilities around the Chicago area. The workers are demanding at least a $15 hourly wage, hazard pay for all employees and a sufficient supply of personal protective equipment. 

Some of the striking workers stood outside nursing homes at several different Chicago locations to show their disapproval.

The workers threatened to strike last week, and when management would not agree to their requests, employees planned to strike starting on Monday. The workers say they will continue to strike for as long as it takes for their demands to be met.

The number of virus-related illnesses and deaths in assisted-living facilities has been especially high because of their close quarters and elderly population, which includes many members with pre-existing medical conditions, which make them particularly vulnerable.