Bridgeport Nursing Home Workers Protest Employer's Malfeasance

Bridgeport, CT, June 1, 2017 – AFSCME Local 1522, the union representing approximately 400 employees at the Bridgeport Health Care Center, is holding a press conference today at 3:30 p.m. to shine a spotlight on their mistreatment by owner/operator Chaim Stern.Stern has repeatedly failed to pay the workers on time, most recently last week, heading into the Memorial Day holiday.

Failure to pay wages is just the start. Stern has been accused by the U.S. Department of Labor of diverting workers’ pension fund money for a charitable organization with which he is connected. He has also failed to provide employees with the medical, dental and prescription drug insurance coverage called for under the collective bargaining agreement between the union and the nursing home – leaving workers with nearly $2 million in denied claims."

“Mr. Stern is a disaster for the workers we represent and the elderly patients they serve with great dedication and care,” said AFSCME Local 1522 President Anna Montalvo. “His ownership has made a mockery of the Health Care Center’s mission. There are many words that describe not paying your employees, diverting pension fund assets and failing to ensure that medical claims are processed and paid. You can start with ‘disgusting’ and ‘demoralizing.’”

Montalvo is also the Secretary of Council 4 AFSCME, the parent union of Local 1522. She called for the State of Connecticut to investigate and take appropriate action to protect workers and patients.

Council 4, meanwhile, has pending lawsuits against Stern over his neglect of health and pension obligations. In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor sued Stern last year for allegedly diverting $4 million in retirement plan assets to a New York-based religious corporation and to himself.

“The way we’ve been treated is disgraceful,” said Charlie Cravatas, a Local 1522 Executive Board member and a Licensed Practical Nurse at the facility. “I hate to think where we’d be without a union fighting for us on the job and in the courts. I’d really hate to think where the patients would be without anyone advocating for them.”

Contact: Larry Dorman (860) 989-9127 or [email protected]