Albert Lea, Minn. – A day after nearly 80 workers were on strike, they claim Mayo management “security blocked them from entering, thereby locking out the 79 people who work as certified nursing assistants (CNAs), housekeepers, sterile processing and in utilities and materials management for seven days, including Christmas.”
According to a press release from the SEIU Healthcare union, workers attempted to return to work today at 6 a.m. but weren’t allowed in.
The union says a picket is planned for 11 a.m. today outside of the hospital and workers plan to speak.
In the press release issued just before 7 a.m. Wednesday, a 28-year worker for Mayo, Charlotte Nelson-Schoker, expressed her displeasure.
"This makes me mad, sad and frustrated. We have given so much to Mayo, and now that we stood up for what is right for workers and our community, management have chosen to lock us out over Christmas," said Neslon-Schoker. "I can't believe it has come to this. We won't stop fighting for what is right. I am so happy to have such amazing support from our union and community. The support means that even though Mayo has locked us out, we know we aren't alone in our fight for good jobs and quality healthcare."
Mayo, in a statement issued Tuesday, said the following:
“SEIU’s decision means striking employees will be out of work for seven days from the commencement of the strike – with the exception of the maintenance workers (total of six employees) as we are not contracting replacement workers for this group. They will be expected to return to work at the start of their next shift on Dec. 20. All other general service workers who choose to strike can return to work on Dec. 26.
While the employees who exercise their legal right to strike will not be paid for 7 days, Mayo has committed to maintain their health care coverage during this period. We value the contribution of our maintenance and general service employees and the important role they fulfill in the operations of Mayo Clinic Health System.”
We will have more on this developing story throughout the day.
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