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CWA workers at Catholic Health's Mercy Hospital begin strike after contract negotiations break down overnight

Mercy Hospital
Posted at 4:58 AM, Oct 01, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — CWA workers at Catholic Health's Mercy Hospital began their strike at 6 a.m. on Friday.

Catholic Health Services says CWA bargaining committee members walked out of contract negotiations early Friday morning, leading workers to the strike.

Catholic Health said early Friday morning the negotiation breakdown means they were not able to reach an agreement for the six labor contracts, covering more than 2,000 registered nurses, technical and clerical associates.

CWA workers began gathering around the building around 5 a.m.

Contract negotiations had been ongoing for more than two weeks between the two parties. CWA members voted to authorize a strike on September 10. Members are seeking to raise wages for some of the union's lowest-paid workers to $15 an hour, and asking for safer staffing ratios.

In preparation for this morning's strike, Catholic Health suspended several services at Mercy Hospital,including labor and delivery and elective inpatient surgeries. There is a temporary diversion of incoming ambulances, but walk-in patients will be treated at the hospital's emergency department.