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7/13/2005

Kentucky Hospital Workers Prepare For Strike


A strike at Highlands Regional Medical Center in Prestonsburg, Kentucky now seems almost certain, unless a contract offer changes drastically.

Members of the Healthcare and Social Services Union, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) /District 1199,
say they're concerned about health insurance, benefits, job security and being treated fairly.


After an overwhelming vote the union members rejected the hospital's latest contract offer.

The contract officially ended Tuesday.


In a statement released Tuesday, the hospital says "The medical center fully anticipated the contract proposal to be rejected due to the fact that many union members had not seen the proposal prior to the vote and did not understand that it was not the medical center's final offer."

Mediators have scheduled a conference call Wednesday night between union and hospital representatives.

Hospital representatives have told they press they are optimistic, but if a strike occurs they say they're prepared to bring in workers so that services and patient care are not affected.

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