Rally raises concern for Mercer Island nursing home workers

MERCER ISLAND, Wash. – Oct. 25 – Workers from Mercer Island Care and Rehabilitation Center picketed Friday calling for nursing home management to return to the bargaining table and offer better wages.

“Our job is to protect our residents and make sure they get the best care possible,” said Lorena Anica, of Kent. She’s a Mercer Island Care and Rehabilitation worker and a member of SEIU Healthcare 775NW. “But we only earn, on average, $13.25/hour, barely enough to live on.”

Friday’s protest comes as workers around Seattle have been calling for better wages. Fast food workers have gone on strike and workers at Seatac are asking voters to approve a $15/hour minimum wage.

Workers have been trying to negotiate better wages at the Mercer Island nursing home since mid-August.

Mercer Island Care and Rehabilitation Center is owned by Videll Healthcare LLC, which in turn is owned by Seattle resident Stephen LaForte. The company assumed operations at the Mercer Island nursing home on May 1.

Medicare.gov, the official Medicare website, rates Mercer Island Care and Rehabilitation Center “much below average.”  A May 15, 2013, inspection report documented safety and nutritional violations that posed potential harm to residents.

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