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Redding Nursing Home Caregivers Hold 2-Day Strike

Photo courtesy SEIU 2015

Nursing home caregivers in Redding ended a two-day strike early Tuesday morning. They say understaffing and mismanagement at the River Valley Nursing Home are straining workers.

About three-dozen workers formed picket lines in front of the River Valley Nursing Home in Redding on Sunday. They say the facility overworked caregivers and pressured them into working double shifts.

Union representative Cyndie Fonseca said problems started when billionaire entrepreneur Shlomo Rechnitz  took over management.

“This facility is making profits at three times the statewide average," Fonseca said. "Since he’s taken over, the turnover rate in staffing has gone from 31 percent to 61 percent.”

Rechnitz's company owns more California nursing home than any other. He’s been hit with more than a dozen lawsuits this year alleging unfair labor practices.

Meanwhile, River Valley caregivers have filed 16 charges against the facility through the National Labor Relations Board. The company disputes those charges.

The Redding caregivers gave the company a 10-day notice before they went on strike. The nursing home hired temporary workers during the strike.

April Ehrlich is an editor and reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Prior to joining OPB, she was a news host and regional reporter at Jefferson Public Radio.