MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Nearly 5,000 nurses in the Twin Cities remain on strike for the third day in a row, as replacement nurses continue to care for patients.

More than 750 people came out Tuesday to protest at United Hospital in St. Paul.

The nurses are mainly striking over health care benefits. Allina Health wants the nurses to be part of a corporate plan to save up to $10 million.

“This is about the safety of our patients and the workplace safety of these fellow nurses behind me,” Nurse Angela Becchetti said. “Allina needs to come and bargain in good faith to address these issues.”

Penny Wheeler, president and CEO of Allina Health, says there is nothing wrong with the health care benefits nurses will receive.

“What I really fail to understand, given that patient care is their stated concern, is why have the union leaders called for their members to walk off the jobs when we are offering the nurses perfectly good health insurance?” Wheeler said.

The Minnesota Nurses Association called on Attorney General Lori Swanson Tuesday to audit Allina’s financial statements. They say there are other ways the company could be saving money.

If no agreement is reached, the strike will continue for the next four days.

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