UPDATE: Around 80 involved in 1-day strike in Albert Lea; Mayo issues response

Mayo Clinic said Tuesday afternoon that about 20 percent of the employees who were scheduled to work in the General group crossed the picket line and reported to work Tuesday.

Posted: Dec 19, 2017 9:07 AM
Updated: Dec 20, 2017 6:35 AM

ALBERT LEA, Minn. (AP) — Maintenance and general workers at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea are walking the picket line in what they're calling an effort to revive stalled contract talks.

Around 80 workers with SEIU Healthcare Minnesota began the walkout at 6 a.m. Tuesday. The union says it's a one-day strike.
Mayo Clinic said Tuesday afternoon that about 20 percent of the employees who were scheduled to work in the General group crossed the picket line and reported to work Tuesday. All of the Maintenance employees honored the strike.
Mayo Clinic released the following statements Tuesday.
• It is unfortunate that the SEIU has deliberately chosen this time of year to strike, subjecting our hardworking employees to uncertainty, anxiety and lost wages during the holiday season.
• We are especially disappointed that the union would call a strike now, since the SEIU General group, which composes the majority of the impacted workers, didn’t ask us for a bargaining session between May 2017 and just recently. The maintenance group met for negotiations twice this fall, but has yet to request anything for the future.
• We know that about 80 employees are affected by the strike, and we’ve heard from over a dozen so far of their intention to cross the picket line and work their scheduled shifts. We support our employees’ right to work.
• As always, our primary obligation is to ensure safe, uninterrupted patient care. We have informed the union leadership and members, in writing, on numerous occasions that we must bring in replacement workers to ensure there are no disruptions. The medical center in Albert Lea has contracted with an agency to provide highly qualified general contract staff to ensure uninterrupted patient care. A seven-day employment commitment is required and is standard industry practice during a strike.
• 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 remain committed to providing fair wages and benefits. These employees are being offered the same Mayo Clinic benefits package as virtually all other allied health employees, which we strongly believe is better as a whole than the benefits they currently receive.
• The SEIU union strike is NOT about employee health care or bad faith bargaining ― it’s about the union using threats and attempts at intimidation to try to influence the negotiations process.
• Mayo respects and remains committed to the negotiations process. It is our hope the SEIU leadership returns to the table with a renewed focus on reaching an agreement for our employees.

Local lawmakers also weighed in on the strike:

“I deplore this extremely unfortunate situation. I urge both sides to resolve their differences immediately, for the sake of the workers, the patients, and the hospital’s standing in the community," Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said. 

"For the sake of workers and their families, negotiations should resume immediately to resolve this unfortunate situation. Locking out workers who are trying to provide for their families and celebrate the holidays with their children is simply unacceptable. This approach is not in the best interests of their patients, workers, or the Albert Lea community," Minnesota Lt. Gov. Tina Smith said.

"You shouldn't be using bullying tactics to get your way. You should sit down with people and try to work out issues. You should be willing to look beyond what they accountants say the bottom line is. And say what a community is is about the people and making sure the people have a high quality of life," State Rep. Paul Thissen (DFL) said. 

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 489116

Reported Deaths: 6614
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1014901592
Ramsey43327810
Dakota36619394
Anoka33496391
Washington22208262
Stearns18822202
St. Louis14887265
Scott13403107
Wright12609116
Olmsted1185990
Sherburne878574
Carver787641
Clay695588
Rice677691
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Kandiyohi581274
Crow Wing523582
Chisago501745
Otter Tail486071
Benton450990
Winona419749
Mower410831
Douglas394568
Goodhue389069
Nobles387247
Polk345063
McLeod341250
Beltrami338951
Morrison327747
Becker314842
Itasca314646
Lyon313845
Isanti309456
Steele303611
Carlton300449
Freeborn286424
Pine283216
Nicollet262441
Todd249730
Brown248237
Le Sueur238120
Mille Lacs229447
Cass221224
Waseca210417
Meeker208134
Martin190829
Wabasha18733
Roseau181017
Hubbard161041
Houston158214
Dodge15404
Renville152640
Redwood147127
Fillmore13969
Pennington138716
Chippewa136935
Cottonwood136020
Wadena131420
Faribault124917
Aitkin119133
Sibley118310
Watonwan11828
Rock116314
Kanabec108820
Pipestone101824
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Murray9548
Jackson94610
Swift87818
Pope8165
Marshall78615
Stevens7478
Lake74218
Clearwater72014
Lac qui Parle68716
Wilkin67711
Koochiching62111
Big Stone5173
Lincoln5122
Grant4928
Norman4798
Unassigned44768
Mahnomen4437
Kittson41021
Red Lake3615
Traverse3115
Lake of the Woods2221
Cook1190

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 337676

Reported Deaths: 5494
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk52087560
Linn19512317
Scott17167212
Black Hawk14970293
Woodbury13847214
Johnson1317075
Dubuque12450196
Dallas1022593
Pottawattamie9897146
Story965045
Warren514976
Clinton502684
Cerro Gordo501383
Webster495788
Sioux480369
Marshall465273
Des Moines428461
Muscatine426393
Buena Vista413237
Wapello4059110
Jasper387767
Plymouth368978
Lee354653
Marion341571
Jones285155
Henry279837
Bremer270555
Carroll266948
Crawford253635
Boone244330
Benton241154
Washington239547
Mahaska215746
Jackson210339
Dickinson204240
Tama203065
Kossuth198655
Delaware186240
Clay184425
Winneshiek183628
Fayette179335
Page178119
Buchanan177829
Wright174531
Hamilton173942
Cedar172723
Hardin170239
Harrison167670
Clayton160254
Butler159331
Mills148520
Floyd148141
Poweshiek148030
Cherokee146236
Lyon145741
Allamakee144848
Madison143218
Iowa140723
Hancock138030
Grundy132430
Winnebago130531
Calhoun129611
Cass129651
Jefferson128634
Appanoose123247
Louisa122644
Mitchell120740
Chickasaw119915
Union119331
Sac118818
Shelby117634
Emmet115340
Humboldt113725
Franklin109719
Guthrie109628
Palo Alto101721
Howard99722
Unassigned9720
Montgomery96936
Clarke95120
Keokuk92429
Monroe90028
Ida81832
Adair81630
Pocahontas80919
Davis76623
Monona76527
Greene73110
Lucas72221
Osceola68315
Worth6678
Taylor64112
Decatur5719
Fremont5619
Van Buren53718
Ringgold50620
Audubon4759
Wayne47221
Adams3194
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