May 11, 2017
Plainfield, NJ- The RWDSU scored another major nursing home victory for workers, with employees at Genesis Woodlands, in, Plainfield New Jersey, voting to join the union by an overwhelming margin on April 28.
The unit consists of over 40 certified nursing assistant employees. To combat a pattern of disrespect in the workplace, Genesis Woodlands employees began organizing themselves, speaking with each other about the benefits union membership brings. The employees were fed up with losing benefits, working twelve to fifteen months without wage increases, short staffing, extremely high and unaffordable health care benefits, intimidation and harassment by certain supervisors, favoritism, and most of all the lack of dignity and respect from management. Certified nursing assistant Marie Joseph stated, “We knew we deserved better and decided that we needed change, representation, a voice on the job and job security.”
Workers were enthusiastic, and quickly created a strong, vocal and outspoken organizing committee. The Genesis Woodlands organizing committee faced a brutal anti-union campaign.
“They remained united throughout the campaign,” said RWDSU Organizer La Mar Hall.
Workers were bombarded by daily letters, one on one meetings, captive audience meetings, threats of strikes and other threats throughout the campaign by Genesis corporate representatives.
“It didn’t affect them – these workers were dedicated and wouldn’t be denied,” Hall added.
The Genesis Woodlands facility is owned by Genesis Healthcare Inc. which operates over 500 Skilled Nursing Facilities nationwide. Genesis Healthcare Inc. had an estimated revenue of $5.73 billion in 2016. The RWDSU currently represents hundreds of Genesis Healthcare nursing home employees throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.