Nursing home workers still on the picket line

Striking workers at West River Health Care will not return to their jobs early this week as they had hoped.

HealthBridge, the company that owns the nursing home and four others, has been granted a temporary order to halt directives that the company return workers to their jobs under their previous contracts.

“The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has issued a temporary restraining order staying the U.S. District Court’s judgment pending further consideration by the Second Circuit,” HealthBridge spokeswoman Lisa Crutchfield said in a press release Monday. “The portions of the order stayed were the requirements to reinstate the striking employees and to reinstate the expired collective bargaining agreement. HealthBridge sought the temporary restraining order in a December 13 emergency motion.”

Deborah Chernoff, union spokeswoman, said the workers could still return to their jobs soon. All depends on when a three-judge panel can be assembled to issue a directive on the temporary stay.

The panel could refuse to hear the request, they could approve or deny it, or take several other steps, Chernoff said.

“Right now, the workers are still on the picket line,” she said.