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Cleveland home-care workers join the fight for $15 an hour minimum
Health-care workers joined the striking fast-food workers across the nation
Story by SARAH JANE TRIBBLE


 
Home care workers march in front of a McDonald's during the early morning commute in Cleveland. They chanted: “We want change and we don’t mean pennies!”
Courtesy of Sarah Jane Tribble
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In The Region:
Fast food and home health-care workers combined forces Thursday in a campaign for $15 an hour minimum wages. The union-organized rally took place outside a McDonald's on St. Clair Avenue. It was part of a national one-day "solidarity" campaign.
For Ohio Public Radio, WCPN's Sarah Jane Tribble was there.
LISTEN: Supporters of a $15 minimum wage

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As the sun began to rise Thursday, a group of home-care workers carried signs and yelled a list of concerns through a microphone, hoping to catch the attention of morning commuters and customers.

Nick Gurich of the Service Employees International Union led the group with chants and speeches. He says, the fight to increase pay that began last year with fast food workers nationwide also resonates with home-care workers.

"The stories that we hear from home care workers and the stories we hear from McDonald's workers, they are exactly the same. They all make about $8.50 to $9 an hour. They all have to buy uniforms from their employer."

And, he says, most of the jobs do not come with health insurance.

Jasmin Almodovar has been a home health aide for 11 years. The care she provides, she says, is worth much more than the current pay.

"Enough is enough, we work hard and without us, how are people going to survive?"

Industry sources say they are constrained by the state and federal Medicaid reimbursement system, which pays the bulk of home health-care costs and, they say, it allows little wiggle room for pay.
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