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Union begins 1-day strike at Mayo Clinic Albert Lea branch

December 19, 2017

Demonstrators picket while taking part in a one-day strike in support of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, outside Mayo Clinic's Albert Lea campus in Albert Lea, Minn. ( Joe Ahlquist/The Rochester Post-Bulletin via AP)

ALBERT LEA, Minn. (AP) — Maintenance and general workers at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea are walking the picket line in what they’re calling an effort to revive stalled contract talks.

Around 80 workers with SEIU Healthcare Minnesota began the walkout at 6 a.m. Tuesday. The union says it’s a one-day strike but KTTC-TV reports that Mayo has threatened a 7-day lockout because of the need to hire temporary workers.

Striker Henry Tews tells KTTC that they’ve been working without a contract for three years. He says one of the sticking points is that Mayo wants to be able to subcontract work now performed by the union employees.

Mayo Clinic Health System says the facility will remain open during the strike. It says union didn’t even ask for a bargaining session until recently.

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