VMT CEO questioned about millions in misused D.C. funds
There was excitement inside and outside D.C. City Hall on Monday as nursing home contractor Solanges Vivens was brought before a special hearing to testify about serious problems with finances and care at facilities she’s run for the District.
While council members grilled Vivens up on the fourth floor, workers at the Vivens-run J.B. Johnson nursing home rallied on the building’s steps with a broad coalition of labor and community supporters. The J.B. Johnson workers voted 165-0 to unite in 1199SEIU in February 2010, but have been denied a fair contract by Vivens ever since.
“This isn’t just a fight for a contract at one nursing home,” said Jos Williams, President of the Metro Washington Labor Council “This is a fight for working people everywhere, and when we work together no one can stop us.” Williams was flanked as he spoke by representatives from the Teamsters, SEIU 32BJ, IBEW, AFSCME, AFT, the Ironworkers, UNITE HERE, and OUR DC, the community-labor grassroots group.
The special hearing was called by the District Committee on Aging and Community Affairs soon after the D.C. Inspector General released an explosive report about VMT in September. The report found that Solanges Vivens’ company, VMT, was responsible for losing the District $2.7 million and urged the city to recoup the funds.