Albert Lea, MN (KROC AM News) -  Most of the workers who walked off the job at the Mayo Clinic campus in Albert Lea Tuesday were told Wednesday morning they have been replaced by temporary workers.

Their union says the lockout will last seven days and the 79 affected workers will not be paid.

SEIU officials say “supporters and members of the community have raised funds to make sure workers impacted by the lockout get the money they would've received had they been on the job.”

According to an SEIU press release:

“Charlotte Nelson-Schocker, who has worked at Mayo Clinic for 28 years doing materials management, expressed the shock and frustration felt by workers who were being locked out over Christmas.

"This makes me mad, sad and frustrated. We have given so much to Mayo, and now that we stood up for what is right for workers and our community, management have chosen to lock us out over Christmas," said Neslon-Schoker. "I can't believe it has come to this. We won't stop fighting for what is right. I am so happy to have such amazing support from our union and community. The support means that even though Mayo has locked us out, we know we aren't alone in our fight for good jobs and quality healthcare."

When asked about the lockout, Mayo spokeswoman Ginger Plumbo said, " We have no other choice because we need to maintain safe patient care.”

Plumbo says workers were told before the strike what would happen if they walked off the job, adding “ The decision to strike and the resulting week of lost wages for these employees rests squarely on the union's shoulders.”

SEIU says the affected workers plan to picket outside the Albert Lea hospital Wednesday. They also plan to picket outside Mayo’s Gonda Building Thursday afternoon.


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