Walz Joins Stirking Mayo Workers, Calls for End to Lockout

December 22, 2017 07:38 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- U.S. Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minnesota) joined more than two dozen striking workers outside Mayo Clinic Health System-Albert Lea Friday morning, the latest DFL gubernatorial candidate to voice support for nearly 80 workers who walked off the job on Tuesday.

Walz called for an end to the strike, and said while Mayo is "an extremely important organization" and one he's proud to represent, leaders need to come together to negotiate a fair contract.


"Once again we're having these problems, whether it's the save the hospital situation or this contract, so what I did was call and say I think it's in the best interest to have these folks back in, don't lock them out over Christmas because I think this is the type of thing people don't forget about," he said.

Walz called the problems the result of a "communication issue" among Mayo staff and outside groups. Earlier this week, protesters rallied in Rochester to take their message to Mayo administration.

Mayo spokeswoman Ginger Plumbo released a statement Friday deriding Walz's comments, saying in part that "While it’s understandable to see emotions run high from union leaders, it is unfortunate to hear the same rhetoric from elected officials and candidates, and especially disappointing to see this one-sided approach from our own Congressman." 

Mayo has said it informed union leaders prior to Tuesday's strike that workers would be unable to return to their jobs for one week, since the hospital was forced to hire contract workers to ensure uninterrupted patient care during the strike. That contract required a one-week commitment, Plumbo said.


Logan Reigstad

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