Day 16 of strike for union workers at Cabell Huntington Hospital; negotiations at a standstill

Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 7:12 PM EST
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Emotions are running high as day 16 pours in for hundreds of union workers striking in rotating shifts on the picket line outside of Cabell Huntington Hospital.

“I know that if I can stay out here in the pouring rain for my co-workers, I can get through anything, and this is only gonna make us stronger,” said Yvonne Brookes, a rehab secretary within the SEIU District 1199.

The last time a counteroffer has been put on the table was during last Tuesday’s bargaining session. That’s when hospital leaders presented a counteroffer to the union.

“It was a worse proposal than what workers walked out over,” said Sherri McKinney, one of the directors with SEIU District 1199.

McKinney said the union rejected the hospital’s counteroffer and is currently waiting to hear if the federal mediator wants to bring the two parties back together.

McKinney said, as of now, there are no upcoming bargaining sessions that have been announced.

WSAZ reached out to the hospital for an interview about where negotiations currently stand. However, they declined.

Instead, they provided information through email.

The hospital says the union has not responded with a counteroffer, so the hospital is waiting to hear from the federal mediator.

However, more than a week has gone by without any update.

“Just tell us what the end game is and maybe we can come together,” Brooks said.

On Wednesday, Cabell Huntington Hospital received a signed temporary restraining order that limits some things picketers can do.

One of the main takeaways from the order is limiting how many strikers can be at the emergency entrance and main hospital entrance at a time. Only eight are allowed during the day and four overnight. However, the hospital says this limited number does not apply to the rest of the sidewalk along Hal Greer Boulevard.

This is a developing story. Keep checking the WSAZ app for the latest information.

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