Fidelity House CRC Workers Call off Strike Upon Reaching Last-Minute Agreement

During the 2019 Fidelity House CRC strike, Richard Sweeney, employment specialist; Lorelei Kluever and Mercy Frank, SEIU Local 509 internal organizers; and Danielle Sweeney, skills instructor. (WHAV News photograph.)

Direct care workers at Fidelity House CRC who, in the union’s words, were “ready to strike for living wages and equal pay for the second time in three years,” said Tuesday they successfully negotiated a new contract.

Haverhill-based Career Resources Corporation merged with Fidelity House in Lawrence at the start of 2019. Later that year, 300 near-minimum wage workers, represented by SEIU Local 509, struck for the first time, eventually winning a 5% cost of living raise over two years. This time, the union said it won larger amounts.

“Because we stayed united, we won a strong new agreement that includes 20% total raises over three years, ratification bonuses up to $1,500 for all staff and a new paid holiday for Juneteenth,” members said in a statement.

They added “management also agreed to make Awake Overnight pay rates equal to first and second shift- which ends a six-year struggle for equal pay.”

According to the union, staff “voted to authorize our bargaining committee to call for a strike if necessary” and a walkout was originally called for Tuesday morning.

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