HealthBridge Management, the company that has locked out 100 workers at a Connecticut nursing home and is threatening to lock out 700 more workers at five other nursing homes, is owned by New Jersey company Care One. Care One is in turn owned by Daniel Straus and his family.
The Hartford Courant reports that Care One:
[O]perates dozens of nursing homes and is in a “bitter East Coast battle” against SEIU unions in several locations, the New Jersey Press newspapers reported.
On Nov. 21, the newspapers reported, an administrative law judge at the National Labor Relations Board ruled that the company illegally fired four workers and reduced the hours of five others at a Somerset, N.J. nursing home.
That’s how the Straus family runs its business. In New Jersey and Connecticut, it is basically trying to break unions at its nursing homes, and it’s illegally firing workers when it’s not locking them out at Christmas.
It’s quite a contrast with another of Daniel Straus’s projects: He and his wife endowed the Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice at New York University just a couple years ago. In an interview with Straus at the Institute’s website, he repeatedly refers to how much he learned from his father’s ethical behavior as a businessman, and says of his extensive philanthropy:
It was early, but one was the impulse of gratitude – to recognize where I came from, how I got what I got, and to appreciate it. I think, in order to be able to give, you have to be able to step outside and have perspective. [...]
The second impulse, once you have financial wealth and one’s needs met, is to have an ability to make choices in life about things that are important. I think that we all believe that the things we do are seen by our children and hopefully we create the right example. And so, those were really my two impulses: gratitude for what I had, and a desire to demonstrate to the next generation something I believed in and thought was important.
The question is, does Straus think that locking your workers out in order to force them to take a pension freeze and to pay up to 23 percent of their pre-tax income in health insurance costs is an appropriate expression of gratitude and demonstration to the next generation of what he believes in, or does he just think his business practices and his “law and justice”-oriented philanthropy are completely separate things?