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SEIU contract controversy results in in 7 days of no work for protesters

Mayo had to hire a temporary replacement staff for those on strike, and the minimum they could contract was seven days.

Posted: Dec. 20, 2017 6:52 PM
Updated: Dec. 21, 2017 6:56 AM

ALBERT LEA, Minn.- A day after SEIU's one-day strike outside Mayo Health System's Albert Lea hospital, the workers showed up for work the next day and were not allowed in. But this was no surprise.

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Mayo clinic and SEIU workers said all parties, prior to the strike, understood the one day strike would result in seven days of no work for protesters.

This is because Mayo had to hire a temporary replacement staff for those on strike, and the minimum they could contract was seven days.

Protesters are calling these seven days of no work a "lock out" but Mayo said it is not a lock out since protestors still chose to protest while knowing it would result in seven days of no work.

Marlene Bascman is a protestor and said she was disappointed when she showed up in uniform and wasn't allowed into work. She said she knew this would happen but said "we wanted to let them know we were willing to come back."

Another protestor, Charlotte Nelson-Schocker, said they aren't on strike anymore, but will continue to picket until they're legally allowed to work again.

"Except for Christmas eve and Christmas day, we will be here on the sidewalk voicing our opinion again," she said. "Letting people know and the community know that we are still here."

A negotiation talk is scheduled for December 28th for the general workers. A Mayo spokesperson said this talk was scheduled prior to the strike.

The Mayo spokesperson also said she would like the other protestors to come to the table and negotiate.

On the day of the strike, protesters received support from a number of elected officials. The support continued on Wednesday with the Secretary of State of Minnesota, Steve Simon, joining in on the picket line and chants.

Protestors plan to protest outside of Mayo's Gonda Building in Rochester on Thursday.

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