Some 23,000 home health aides at 11 different New York agencies began a three-day strike today over salary and health benefits, union officials said. The workers, represented by Service Employees International Union 1199, are asking for $10 per hour by 2006 and health benefits. Union officials said aides make $7 per hour on average and receive few or no benefits. The strike kicked off this morning at union headquarters with a rally attended by U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and former presidential candidate Howard Dean, among others. Omega Home Health Services in Brooklyn could not yet determine as of this morning how many of its more than 1,000 home health aides would strike, said Steve Schneider, the agency's CEO. "We do have replacements available, and we do not anticipate a major problem at this time," Schneider said. -- by Cinda Becker
N.Y. home health aides strike over wages, benefits
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