Health workers in Millbrae to strike Friday

Nearly 100 health care workers at a Millbrae convalescent home will strike Friday over what the workers’ union claims are unfair labor practices.

The 87 caregivers at Emmanuel Convalescent Hospital on 33 Mateo Ave. next to El Camino Real will strike for 24 hours and hold a rally at 2 p.m. Millbrae Mayor Gina Papan and San Mateo County supervisors Jerry Hill and Mark Church will show up to support the picketing workers.

The Service Employees International Union United Healthcare West represents the workers. A and C Healthcare purchased the 140-bed hospital on Aug. 8 after its previous owner went bankrupt.

The union claims that the new owners have violated various federal labor laws and fired eight employees for being union activists, said SEIU spokesman Mason Stockstill. The union filed its claims with the National Labor Relations Board.

A and C Healthcare CFO Ampy Ragudo said those claims are false and that no employees have been fired for nonperformance related issues.

The hospital is bringing in workers from various facilities and agencies to fill in Friday and will remain open, Ragudo said.

Hill said he will appear at the rally because the owners have not acted responsibly. The county will not try, however, to gain control of the home as it has done with others convalescent hospitals, he said.

The workers nearly struck on two previous occasions since A and C Healthcare bought the hospital, said chief steward Mau Kiliona. The workers will continue to strike until needs are met, he said.

mrosenberg@examiner.com

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