On May 12, 2005, S.E.I.U. workers, students, labor organizers and other community members demonstrated outside Sunshine Villa Assisted Living on Beach Hill in Santa Cruz. Sunshine Villa is owned by Regent Assisted Living which is based in Portland, Oregon. The owner is very worried that if Sunshine Villa is unionized, then the many other assisted living facilities he owns in seven other states will become unionized as well.
You can hear some raw audio from the rally which includes the voices of Yolanda, Robert, Jeffrey Smedberg, Joe Keffer, Julian Posadas and Cerise Ortiz. I very much regret that I made a mistake and some of the audio I recorded has been lost, which included words from Tim Fitzmaurice and Yolanda, a worker recently fired from Sunshine Villa. I’ll learn from my mistake and like we told Sunshine Villa, “We’ll be back.”
Audio from the Rally (14:55 minutes)
“Regent Assisted Living, Inc., based in Portland, Oregon, is an owner, operator and developer of private-pay assisted living communities in the western United States. Assisted living is part of a spectrum of long-term care services that provide a combination of housing, personal services and health care. Regent communities are designed to respond to elderly individuals who require assistance with activities of daily living in a manner that promotes independence.”
The following information was published on SC-IMC by SEIU Organizer Director Joe Keffer
Solidarity Rally With Sunshine Villa Workers
S.E.I.U has filed bad faith bargaining charges against Sunshine Villa. While the Labor Board makes a decision, it’s important for Santa Cruz to show Sunshine Villa that we will not be silent while they attempt to bust the Union. SEIU and Sunshine Villa workers ask you to join us in demanding a union contract.
Help The Union and the Workers:
- Get a good contract.
- Bring workers up to a Living Wage;
- Insure family’s medical coverage and oppose big co-pays
- Protect residents and workers from short staffing.
- Stop the high worker turnover.
- Establish fair discipline procedures.
Since the Workers voted 80% to join the Union, Sunshine Villa:
- Fired the key union activist
- Fired a worker right after she admitted she was pregnant
- Suspended and fired many other workers.
It’s Time To Turn Up The Heat!
Here is a link to coverage of a March 22, 2005 demonstration: