SEIU’s Mayo strike set for Tuesday

December 19, 2017

ALBERT LEA — Up to 85 employees represented by SEIU Healthcare Minnesota will take part Tuesday in a one-day strike at Mayo Clinic’s Albert Lea campus.

SEIU is touting the Unfair Labor Practices strike over contract language as the first in Mayo Clinic history.

The picket line will begin at 6 a.m. outside the hospital with a public rally starting at 11 a.m., according to SEIU spokesman Josh Keller. Two bargaining units are taking part in the strike, but Mayo spokeswoman Ginger Plumbo says other groups have filed notification of their intent to picket in support — including the Minnesota Nurses Association, the Albert Lea teachers union, AFSCME and Save Our Hospital, among others.

Plumbo says Mayo notified the union that striking employees will be required to be out of work for seven days, which is the minimum length contract to bring in replacement workers. Plumbo says replacement workers are necessary to maintain safe conditions for patients.

However, SEIU workers plan to gather at 6 a.m. Wednesday in hopes of returning to their jobs.

While the vote to strike was approved by 92 percent of SEIU workers, Plumbo said that more than a dozen have said they will cross the picket line to continue working.

Mayo filed its first Unfair Labor Practices complaint against SEIU last month, weeks before the strike was announced. SEIU recently filed a new ULP complaint against Mayo after the National Labor Relations Board ruled in Mayo’s favor this fall following a two-year debate.