Enloe workers nix contract offer

Service employees authorize strike, but it’s on hold

Enloe Medical Center service workers affiliated with the United Healthcare Workers/SEIU last week rejected a “last, best and final” offer from hospital management. Of the group’s approximately 650 members, 434 voted on the contract, with 291 voting “nay” and 143 “yea.” The vote also authorized union leaders to call up to a four-day strike, but there’s no sign that they intend to do so—at least for now.

The union’s chief negotiator, Charlie Ridgell, told the CN&R his team had agreed to give Enloe management a counteroffer and would do so today (July 3). The two groups are scheduled to meet again on July 14.

“We’ll see what they come back with and go from there,” Ridgell said. “We hope we get a counter that we can take back to our members with a recommendation.”

That’s a big hope. The two groups are far apart on wages, with the union seeking a 43 percent increase over three years, and Enloe offering 13 percent.