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The Associated Press November 3, 2010, 11:23AM ET

W.Va. hospital workers authorize strike

Union workers at Cabell Huntington Hospital are prepared to strike if contract negotiators can't resolve health care, pension and other issues.

Members of the Service Employees International Union District 1199 authorized a strike in voting conducted Monday and Tuesday.

Cabell Huntington said it received a 10-day strike notice from the union Wednesday morning.

"We certainly will make every possible effort to reach an agreement. Regardless, we will make any and all necessary preparations to ensure the continued, uninterrupted delivery of quality patient care at Cabell Huntington Hospital," the hospital said in a statement.

Union spokesman Anthony Caldwell said the strike would begin at noon on Nov. 15 if an agreement isn't reached.

The union represents about 800 licensed practical nurses, lab workers, and service and maintenance personnel. Their contract expired at midnight Monday.

The union said the hospital is seeking more than $3 million in concessions. The hospital said its offer was generous and fair.

Cabell Huntington said contract talks are scheduled Nov. 11.

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