EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSUnion Workers Vote in Favor Of Cabell Huntington Contact
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Tiersa Davis
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Nov. 12, 2013 2:03 PM EST
Updated: Nov. 13, 2013 11:00 PM EST
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
It looks like Cabell Huntington hospital will be avoiding a strike.
Union workers voted in favor of a new contract agreement with the hospital on Wednesday.
Around 800 Service Employees International Union District 1199 union workers started voting early in the morning.
The new contract will last three years, and include six percent wage increases over that time frame.
Last week, union workers cried foul when the hospital proposal didn't include a wage increase or insurance for part-time workers. Union workers had planned to strike this Friday at noon, but now they are happy to report otherwise.
"It’s a great feeling to finally reach an agreement which workers overwhelmingly ratified,” Joyce Gibson, of SEIU 1199, said. “We look forward to the next three years and this is a major relief for this bargaining unit."
The last set of negotiations between the union and the hospital lasted 15 hours.
“The power of workers uniting to bargain a fair contract sent a resounding message that the employees of Cabell Huntington Hospital are professionals and their work has great value,” Becky Williams, president of SEIU 1199, who helped lead the negotiations for workers, said. “Hospital employees were inspirited by the solidarity demonstrated by their co-workers and used that energy to push back against extreme concessions that would have erased decades of gains made by workers.”
Hundreds of union workers at Cabell Huntington Hospital could strike on Friday if a contract agreement cannot be met with their employer.
SEIU 1199 and the hospital had one last bargaining session Tuesday. Hospital management and union representatives met at Pullman Plaza Hotel to work out an agreement. Negotiations began earlier this month, and one proposed contract had been voted down by workers.
The final proposal will be voted by workers Wednesday. Workers will either vote to accept the new contract or vote to strike. The strike would take effect at noon on Friday.
SEIU 1199 is composed of more than 800 employees at Cabell Huntington Hospital
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