Straus’ Supporters Bully Students & Caregivers, Threaten Violence

On September 11th, 2012, New York University student protestors and caregivers peacefully exercising their free speech rights were met by a small group of counter-protestors, whose sole purpose seemed to be to intimidate and harass them. After initial denials, Care One admitted to indirectly hiring these individuals.

In this new video, NYU student Adaner Usmani talks about his experience being harassed by these individuals, which included calling him homophobic slurs and threatening him with violence. Despite multiple requests from students, NYU has declined to publicly condemn the behavior of these individuals. The school has also refused to publicly hold Daniel Straus accountable for his company’s actions.

The students and caregivers held the rally at the Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice to draw attention to the exploitative practices of the Care One and HealthBridge nursing home chains. Daniel Straus, CEO of Care One and HealthBridge, is an NYU Law School trustee and has the endowed the Straus Institute with annual gifts of $1.25 million. Meanwhile, HealthBridge and Care One have been cited for violating federal labor law more than 17 times. Morever, some nursing homes run by the Straus companies have threatened to slash healthcare benefits, staffing and wages for caregivers, or have unlawfully fired caregivers for trying to form a union.

Some students dressed as “dirty money,” while others wore top hats and handed out fake “dirty money” dollar bills. Meanwhile, striking caregivers from HealthBridge facilities in Connecticut and caregivers from Care One facilities in New Jersey, several of whom were fired while attempting to form a union, led the crowd in chants.

The “dirty money” theme was meant to represent the Institute’s hypocrisy in claiming its commitment to law and justice while accepting funds from endower and NYU Law School trustee Daniel Straus, whose companies have violated federal labor law. Workers also carried a banner that read, “The Straus Institute for Worker Injustice,” to highlight the connection between Daniel Straus’ labor practices and his endowment of the Institute.

Click here to read more about the event.

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