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History in the making as Schofield Home Care workers vote majority to unionize

Posted at 6:10 PM, Dec 05, 2022

BUFFALO N.Y. (WKBW) — The employees of the Schofield Home Health Care in the Town of Tonawanda have won the vote to unionize with 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

Elizabeth Jackson is a Personal Care Assistant at Schofield. She said she fuels her passion is every eight hour shift she completes.

"I like to be with older people. I like to work with older people. My passion is there. As I hate to see when they grow older they have no one to care for them in some circumstances," she said. "There has to be a group of people that does something like this for society."

She shared her 12 years as a Certified Nurse Aid were under a union. After transferring to be a non-unionized company and position, she said she is ready to be under a union once again.

"I think a union is a voice for us because there are times when workers want to voice their opinion or do things but can't because of fear of losing their job," Jackson said.

Director of Labor Relations from Cornell University Cathy Creighton said in the current democracy it's important for employees to have a voice in their workplace.

"It is a group of employees that have decided to act collectivity to join together to be able to empower themselves to go to their employer and ask for benefits," Creighton said.

According to Gallup the US approval of labor unions is at its highest since 1965.

"It's very important that these workers have a voice on the job because they're really working alone. And they're doing some of the most important work we can ask a human being to do which is take care of everyone in dignity and respect in their homes," Organizational Coordinator of 1199SEIU, Kim Gibson, said.

Western New York Area Labor Federation President Peter De Jesus said he is seeing unionization increase. He shares it's a great seeing such because more people are fighting to be better for themselves.

"We are seeing workers from many different sectors from all walks of life that understand the collective value of coming together and try to advocate for a better work place," he said.

Jackson said unionization is a voice of protection which leads to a better working environment and world in the larger scope of things.

"Let us work together for the betterment of the people who are unable to do for themselves," she said.

For more information on the unionization please visit this website.