Hundreds of nursing home workers at multiple locations across the Chicago area went on strike early Monday.
Nearly 700 caregivers walked off the job at 11 locations owned by Infinity Healthcare Management at 6 a.m. to begin a strike.
Those 11 locations include City View Multi Care Center in Cicero, Southpoint Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Chicago's South Side andParker Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Streator, among others.
Organizers say the workers began bargaining for a new contract in June after their contract expired in late May.
SEIU Healthcare Illinois said the company discontinued pandemic pay - higher wages for essential workers during the coronavirus pandemic - at the end of July, despite receiving $12.7 million in funding from the federal CARES Act.
Infinity did not immediately respond to request for comment.
Workers on the picket line said they're striking for themselves and their families, saying that their base wages are below that of other nursing homes in the Chicago area, but also for residents.
SEIU said City View Multi-Care Center is the nursing home with the highest number of coronavirus infections in Illinois, while Niles Nursing & Rehab Center has the highest number of deaths.
The workers are also asking for more personal protection equipment as they continue to work inside the facilities during the pandemic.