5-day hunger strike successfully ends 24-hour home health aide shifts

A hunger strike outside City Hall in New York ended after five days, with the goal of pressuring the city to stop 24-hour shifts for healthcare aides. The 20 women who participated in the hunger strike were greeted with flowers and applause when it ended.

Lai Yee Chan, a 69-year-old home health aide who has been working for 22 years, expressed feeling both exhausted and energized after fighting against the long shifts. She spoke through a translator about how the 24-hour shifts took away her freedom and mentioned that she was doing it not just for herself, but for the next generation of home care workers.

Councilman Christopher Marte shared his personal story about his mother working 24-hour shifts as a home attendant, highlighting the greed of insurance companies and home care agencies. The bill introduced by Marte in the City Council supports banning these 24-hour shifts. Despite concerns about health care costs and service gaps, organizers have expressed that the fight is not over and plan to continue with more protests in the future.

The demand for more healthcare aides is increasing while the workforce population decreases. Marte emphasized the importance of not having anyone work for 24-hour shifts. The hunger strikers have mentioned that they will take some time to rest, recharge, and then return to continue their fight.

By Samantha Johnson

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