July 3, 2012 | last updated July 3, 2012 11:06 am

CT nursing home workers begin strike at 5 homes

About 700 staff members at five Connecticut nursing homes have gone on strike to protest what they say are labor concessions imposed by the New Jersey company that owns the facilities, The Associated Press reports.

Nurses, nursing assistants, laundry, dietary, housekeeping and other workers walked picket lines Tuesday morning.

A spokeswoman for District 1199 of the Service Employees International Union says HealthBridge/Care One, which owns the homes in Danbury, Milford, Newington, Stamford and Westport, broke off negotiations and illegally imposed a contract that cuts workers' hours and makes health insurance unaffordable.

Company spokeswoman Lisa Crutchfield criticized the union for striking rather than negotiating what she called a fair and realistic contract. She said that after nearly 17 months of bargaining, the company imposed final contract offers that are entirely legal.

Meanwhile, HealthBridge/Care One said that all of the nursing homes remain in full operation despite the strike.

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