Ending one of the nation’s longest labor disputes, approximately 30 employees of Heartland Human Services in Effingham, Ill., ratified a contract with management in August that will return them to work after two years on the picket line – a one-year strike that they decided to end, followed by a one-year lockout.
The employees, who provide residential and outpatient mental health treatment at the state-funded private, non-profit center, fought for a total of three years. “They never wavered,” says Council 31 Exec. Director Henry Bayer, also an AFSCME International vice president. “They always promised to fight one day longer than necessary to win fair treatment and respect for the important work they do. Their solidarity and dedication is a tremendous inspiration to us all.”
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