BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) -- Employees of Appalachian Regional Hospital are on the picket lines after a contract deadline came and went.
The strike, which started at 12:01 Sunday morning, affects about 400 workers in Beckley and Hinton -- and even more in eastern Kentucky.
The hospital workers are members of the United Steelworkers union and include licensed practical nurses, technicians, nurse aides and maintenance workers.
The union represents approximately 24-hundred employees across the A-R-H system, which operates nine hospitals, 12 clinics, eight home health agencies, 12 HomeCare Stores and 12 retail pharmacies in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia.
Union officials say the contract dispute is over salaries, benefits and schedules.
In a press release issued today, A-R-H President and C-E-O Jerry W- Haynes said the hospital presented a fair, equitable and competitive contract.
The hospital system plans to keep all its facilities open throughout the strike.
In Beckley Sunday, striking workers chanted ``We will not give in,'' and held signs encouraging motorists to honk in support.