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Unions to protest Catholic Health negotiating position

The Western New York Area Labor Federation and unions representing about 4,000 workers at Catholic Health System will hold a news conference Thursday afternoon to protest the bargaining stance taken by the hospital system in its ongoing labor negotiations.

The union event takes place at 4:45 p.m. outside the headquarters of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, 795 Main St.

Catholic Health, which is owned in part by the diocese, began the latest round of contract talks with its union employees in the spring.

Union leaders said in a statement that Catholic Health is “wildly profitable” but the system has refused to reinvest that income in its work force and instead is seeking concessions from employees. Catholic Health officials have defended the pay and benefits earned by its workers and said they believe employee morale is high.

In addition to the labor federation, representatives of the Communications Workers of America, 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East, United Food and Commercial Workers and the International Union of Operating Engineers plan to attend Thursday’s event.