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St. Francis of Williamsville workers may strike against new owner of nursing home

About 100 workers at the St. Francis of Williamsville nursing home have voted to give 10 days’ notice of a strike unless the facility’s new owners agree to protect their jobs, recognize their union and begin negotiating a new contract, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, which represents the employees, announced Friday.

The certified nursing assistants and service workers at the 142-bed nursing home on Reist Street voted unanimously on Wednesday to authorize a strike, which would begin 10 days after Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services closes on its purchase of the facility from Catholic Health System. The Long Island-based company agreed in January 2014 to buy St. Francis of Williamsville and two adult homes from Catholic Health.

Todd Hobler, an 1199SEIU vice president, said Comprehensive has refused to agree in writing to retain the current work force at the nursing home or to negotiate a new contract with the workers.

Comprehensive officials did not respond to a message seeking comment Friday. Catholic Health spokeswoman JoAnn Cavanaugh said the sale is likely to close by the end of March.