November 3, 2010

RICHMOND, Va.–It all started this past winter when Certified Nursing Aides (CNA’s) from the Ashland Nursing and Rehabilitation Center were ordered to stay put during a winter storm.  They could not return home to children, had to sleep on the floor and eat out of snack machines.  Later in the year, six African American CNA’s and LPN’s were strip-searched and harassed by their supervisors. After meeting with Virginia State NAACP officials, a union organizing campaign emerged.

Yesterday, the CNA’s, Restorative Aides, Activity Aides and Maintenance employees of the Ashland Nursing and Rehabilitation Center took their first step towards a fair and equal workplace.  The majority of the unit voted “Union YES” for UFCW Local 400 to represent them for the purposes of collective bargaining.

“I was very happy with the way the election turned out,” said Marcia Walker, a CNA and committee member. “[We are one step closer toward] job security we did not have before and a contract that will treat everyone the same.”

Election observer for the union Crystal Holland said, “the fight for union representation was long, hard and challenging…but now we have someone to back us up.  I look forward to a more fair and balanced workplace for employees.”