MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Dozens of workers at Mayo Clinic’s hospital in Albert Lea plan to strike Tuesday.
There are a total of about 80 workers, consisting of nursing assistants, housekeepers and maintenance workers, who are planning to strike.
SEIU Healthcare Minnesota says the strike is over changes Mayo wants to make that would undermine good jobs in Albert Lea, and that the hospital continues to demand the ability to subcontract these jobs.
Mayo Clinic released a statement about this strike, saying “SEIU employees are not losing any of their benefits. Mayo is simply looking to have the general and maintenance employees’ contract on the same terms as nearly all other staff.”
Mayo also says replacement workers require a seven-day contract, so any employees going on strike today can likely not return to work for a week.
This strike comes at a time of bitter feelings over rural healthcare in southern Minnesota.
This past fall, Mayo announced plans to move some services out of Albert Lea, and patients needed to start going to Austin. At the time, the clinic said the changes were necessary because of financial losses and a drop in long-term hospital stays.