A new study finds that having a unionized workforce at a nursing home greatly reduces the likelihood that someone will die from COVID-19.
There was a 30% relative decrease in the COVID-19 mortality rate for residents in nursing homes with unionized workers than in other nursing homes, according to the study, which examined data from more than 300 nursing homes in New York from March 1 through May 31.
It was completed by researchers at George Washington University, the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and the Boston University School of Medicine. The authors used publicly available data on nursing home deaths in New York and proprietary data from labor unions to determine union representation.
"Our results suggest that unions may have reduced COVID-19 deaths among nursing home residents by successfully demanding PPE for health care workers," the authors conclude. "Health care worker unionization may play an important role in ensuring access to appropriate PPE and implementing infection control policies that protect vulnerable nursing home residents."