ARH Union Steel Workers Strike Enters Day 3

By: WYMT Team Coverage
By: WYMT Team Coverage
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The United Steel Workers strike against Appalachian Regional Healthcare enters its third day.

Thousands of union workers have been picketing around the clock at nine ARH hospitals after failed contract negotiations.

Union workers at many ARH hospitals say this experience is uniting them, even doctors still working at the hospital are showing their support.

Just about 48-hours into the strike, union workers at one hospital say the battle for a fair contract is turning nasty.

United Steel Workers say this strike is about unity.

At midnight Saturday, many ARH union employees planted their feet on the picket line after they say ARH is cutting wages,pensions, insurance, and vacation time.

The strike turned violent in Harlan Monday, an ARH food service manager allegedly hit a union picketer and nearly hit a second person while pulling into the hospital.

The Harlan County sheriff later showed up to serve a summons to Sherrie Parker for 1st degree wanton endangerment, she's due in court in May.

Meanwhile, picketers asked for the courts help in Harlan to block the hospital from hiring replacement workers.

“Motion passed unanimously. Let this be resolved that the Harlan County Fiscal Court pledged it's support to ISW local 14-491 and is opposed to use of replacement workers.”

ARH officials preferred not to appear on camera, but did say that they are making patient care and safety their top priority.

Negotiations between ARH and union officials will resume on Wednesday.

ARH president and CEO Jerry Haynes, says ARH is hopeful that a resolution can be reached to resolve the issues and to end the strike.

Picketers say they will continue their fight until a fair contract is offered.

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