Minnesota Nurses Association to picket in support of SEIU union workers during strike at Mayo Albert Lea

Minnesota Nurses Association members plan to picket during another union's Dec. 19 strike at Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic Health System's Albert Lea campus.

The MNA revealed the plans in a Friday news release, saying it filed a 10-day notice of intent to picket in support of Service Employees International Union Healthcare Minnesota-represented workers as they begin their "unfair labor practice" strike.

SEIU announced the planned strike earlier this week. SEIU members affected by the strike include 79 healthcare employees working as certified nursing assistants, housekeepers, sterile processing technicians and in utilities and materials management. Those employees are part of the general group that voted to authorize a one-day strike in late November. Six skilled maintenance workers represented by SEIU, who have not had a labor deal for more than two years, also voted to participate in the strike.

Now, the MNA plans to picket in support of these workers.

"We stand with our SEIU brothers and sisters as they work toward a successful resolution to this long and drawn-out battle for a ratified contract," said MNA President Mary Turner.

In response to the MNA news, Mayo said via email it respects the MNA's right to picket. "It's ironic, however, that the Minnesota Nurses Association in Albert Lea has already agreed to substantially similar 'me too' provisions that SEIU is protesting with their intent to strike. Virtually all the Mayo Clinic Health System nurses represented by MNA and most other employees represented by all other unions at Mayo Clinic are on the standard benefits that we are proposing for employees who are represented by SEIU in Albert Lea," the system added. SEIU has reportedly not been willing to accept Mayo's proposal.

Mayo has said it would bring in replacement workers if a walkout occurred, and striking employees would be out of work for one week from the beginning of the strike due to contractual obligations to those replacement workers. The MNA said nurses will continue picketing "until all SEIU workers are permitted to return to work."



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