Niin Metsa Vastaa Kuin Sinne Huudetaan?
HEU Finnish Home members and residents win reversal of caretaker's unfair eviction
HEU members at Finnish Home joined forces with the facility's residents to come to the aid of on-site caretaker, Kauko Pusenius, after the Finnish Canadian Rest Home Board evicted him from his home of 13 years. Apparently the board had decided that Pusenius was taking up too much space living alone in one of the facilityís two-bedroom apartments and wanted to move him to an out-of-the-way bachelor suite. As caretaker, Pusenius lives at and pays rent to Finnish Home. The Finnish Home local, under the slogan "Niin Metsa Vastaa Kuin Sinne Huudetaan? Who will answer when they're calling?" quickly coordinated a campaign to have board members reverse their decision and allow the highly-regarded worker to remain in his home. The local chose the slogan because it's a well-known Finnish saying that illustrates the belief that people look out for each other. The grassroots campaign applied pressure to the facility's administration and board through staff wearing 'Niin Metsa Vastaa Kuin Sinne Huudetaan?" stickers and T-shirts, and talking with people in the Finnish community to explain the caretaker's plight. A member-petition, beginning with "We the staff of the Finnish Canadian Rest Home would like to speak on behalf of our full-time caretaker...", called on the board to reconsider its eviction decision. Every available staff person signed. And simultaneously, the Finnish Home residents contacted administrators to declare their support for the faithful caretaker they considered their friend and neighbour. They collected every resident's signature on their own protest petition and presented it to the board. Consequently, at their meeting last week, Finnish Canadian Rest Home board members overturned their earlier decision—Kauko Pusenius has his home back. Together, the HEU Finnish local members and manor residents had won the day. "The staff and residents are very pleased with the outcome," said local secretary-treasurer Ritva Hauka. "The Finnish Home community rallied around Kauko to help him win his home back and together we did. That's given everyone a great feeling of accomplishment."