UPDATE: 11:30 p.m., November 4, 2021: An agreement has not been met between the SEIU and Cabell-Huntington Hospital yet.
The hospital released a statement on Thursday saying they are “looking forward to resuming negotiations with the goal of reaching a mutually beneficial contract.”
Member of the negotiations committee, Alesha Whitfield says so far the negotiations have not gone well.
Each time we went to the table they wanted to take more and more and in the end it was a threat… This is it, if you don’t take it, we’re going back even further to our last proposal.Alesha Whitfield, O.R. Sterile Technician
No matter the weather, these workers say they are going to continue picketing until they’ve reached a reasonable agreement.
HUNTINGTON, WV. (WOWK) – The cold is not stopping Cabell Huntington Hospital workers from taking a stand. They’re saying they are in this strike for the long haul.
“If we don’t stand for something, we will fall for anything,” said Damon Core, a materials manager at Cabell-Huntington Hospital. “Let me put it this way, we are in it to win it. That’s it. As long as it takes, that’s what it will take.”
It all started on Wednesday at noon as nearly 900 workers joined the picket lines after the union rejected the hospital’s final contract offer on Tuesday following months of negotiation.
“We don’t want to be here,” said Bronya Coyle, PCA labor delivery worker at Cabell-Huntington Hospital. “This is not what we want. We want to be in there taking care of our patients, not out here on the street, but we feel like we were forced to be here. The hospital forced us.”
Employees from all different departments are on the picket lines taking a stand. They’re asking for better care, safe staffing, health insurance and better wages.
The union said the hospital is paying outside workers, instead of investing in its long-term employees. The hospital released a statement expressing its disappointment that a deal wasn’t reached, saying it worked in good faith to reach a fair contract.
The hospital said they have a duty to provide quality health care to the community and have hired service workers to help during the strike.
Those out on the picket line said they appreciate all the honks and support they’ve been receiving from the community, and they will be out there around the clock.