ALBERT LEA, Minn.—About 80 union workers at the Mayo Clinic’s hospital here returned to their jobs Dec. 26, after management responded to a one-day strike by SEIU Healthcare Minnesota by locking them out for a week and bringing in strikebreakers to replace them. Mayo management said the union “forced them to strike,” saying that the SEIU knew that it was going to hire replacements if they walked out. Talks resumed Dec. 28 for the first time since May. “We were surprised to see Mayo telling the press during the lockout that they wanted to negotiate, because that hasn’t been the message at all over the last year,” Justin Yost, who has worked in the utilities department for 14 years, told the Rochester Post Bulletin. “We are looking forward to getting back to work and doing our jobs to make sure our hospital runs safely. It was amazing getting the support we got from the community over the last week.” The union is resisting Mayo’s demand that they let it alter language pertaining to benefits language without negotiating the changes. SEIU paid the locked-out workers’ salaries, aided by a $10,000 donation from the Minnesota Nurses Association. Read more


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