West Virginia hospital workers to strike

About 1,000 workers at Cabell Huntington Hospital in Huntington, W.Va., plan to strike Nov. 3 unless an agreement with hospital management is reached, according to the union that represents them.

A news release from Service Employees International Union District 1199 said the workers have been in negotiations for months seeking quality care, safe staffing, adequate wages and health insurance coverage.

The union contends the hospital has the financial means to provide a fair and equitable contract amid construction of a new $51 million office complex.

Executives "have repeatedly made it clear that they value profits over workers and patients. This conflict comes after decades of successful contract negotiations with previous hospital administrations, but clearly these executives have decided that they will be prioritizing profits over care and dignity," the union said in its news release.

In a statement to the Herald-Dispatch, Molly Frick, director of human resources at the hospital, said, "The current contract between Cabell Huntington Hospital and the [union] expires after Nov. 2. In the meantime, the hospital is committed to continuing good faith negotiations in order to reach a fair and equitable agreement."

SEIU District 1199 members voted Oct. 20 to send a 10-day strike notice to hospital management. The union represents workers in the service and maintenance units at Cabell Huntington.

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