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Season 4, Episode 222

Equity firms helping to eliminate county-run nursing homes in Pennsylvania



Guest Name:

Jacob Lindahl

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Lead organizer for the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Pennsylvania, Jacob Lindahl, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss the growing privatization efforts in Pennsylvania nursing homes. Lindahl also talked about contract negotiations in Westmoreland County and his experience on the Kaiser Permanente strike.

Most Pennsylvania counties built nursing homes in the late 1800s and early 1900s to take care of Civil War veterans. Over time, they became focal points of the community and played an essential part in the social safety net, Lindahl said. Now, many of the nursing homes are being sold to private equity companies. These private equity companies then take control of the facility for a few years, cut staffing and then eventually close the facility and sell off the remaining equipment to make a profit.

Westmoreland Manor is a large nursing home southeast of Pittsburgh. It is one of the handful of remaining county-run nursing homes in Pennsylvania that haven’t been sold to to a private equity firm. Negotiations have been ongoing with Westmoreland County for a new contract at Westmoreland Manor since Summer 2023. Now, SEIU Local 668, which represents the other county workers at the courthouse, jail, 911 and more, is seeking a new contract with the county as well. To help get the wages, benefits and protections for workers, both groups have joined together and are negotiating together for the first time, Lindahl said.

Lindahl then spoke on the Kaiser Permanente healthcare strike in multiple states. There were over 80,000 healthcare workers involved in the three-day strike to protest Kaiser’s unfair labor practices. Lindahl shared his experience on the picket line in Colorado and the excitement and energy of the workers standing in solidarity to get the contract improvements they need. 

Hear more from Lindahl by clicking on the play button above.

America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

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