Strike looms as union employees at Cabell Huntington Hospital vote on management proposal that hurts workers.

Elimination of healthcare for retirees and no wage increase among issues that have hospital employees considering issuing a 10-day strike notice.

HUNTINGTON, WV – The over 800 workers represented by the Service Employees International Union District 1199 at Cabell Huntington Hospital began voting today at 6:30am on whether to send a 10-day strike notice to their employer or accept the hospital’s latest offer of no wage increase, drastic changes to employee health benefits and the elimination of health insurance for retired employees.

“In 2010, workers gave back millions in concessions on their pension and healthcare, but executive salaries are going up and have increased over the past three years. Shame on them,” said Joyce Gibson, Director of Healthcare with the Service Employees International Union District 1199 and chief negotiator. “When the hospital was not financially stable, workers made sacrifices. Now that the hospital is doing well, they don’t want to share the pie. Workers provide the care and services that make the hospital profitable, but now hospital executives don’t want reward their hard work.”

According to financial documents provided by the employer, Cabell Huntington Hospital made a profit of over $33 million dollars in 2012 and has confirmed to employees that their profit projections for 2013 are even higher than that.

If employees reject the offer by the hospital tonight, a 10-day strike noticed will be issued, however, workers are hopeful that an agreement can be reached before that time.

Workers and representatives from SEIU District 1199 will be available throughout the day at the Ramada Inn located at 3140 16th Street Rd, Huntington, WV 25701. Union members have until 8:00pm tonight to vote.

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