More than 100 workers at long-term care facilities blocked traffic in Hartford on Wednesday to demand better wages and benefits, as well as a solution to the staff shortages that are affecting an industry hit hard by the pandemic.
According to the health care union District 1199 New England, SEIU, 18 unionized long-term care workers have died from COVID-19 and more have lost loved ones to the disease or have suffered permanent damage.
Meanwhile, workers continue to risk death or serious illness on a daily basis, the union said.
“Returning to normal is simply not an option,” said the union, which is demanding the state set aside more funding in the new two-year state budget to ultimately provide the workers with higher wages they can live on, access to affordable health insurance, retirement options and paid time off.
“Long-term workers have gone beyond the extra mile to continue providing services during COVID-19 at great risk to themselves and their families,” the union added.
The workers blocked traffic outside the Department of Social Services offices.