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Union authorizes strike at Mount St. Mary's Hospital as talks continue

Employees at Mount St. Mary's Hospital in Lewiston overwhelmingly approved a strike authorization in a vote concluded Wednesday night, but another bargaining session with the hospital was scheduled for Thursday morning.

Local 1199 of the Service Employees International Union announced more than 80 percent of its 413 members took part in the vote, and 95 percent of the turnout was in favor of allowing the union bargaining committee to call a strike. The union is required by state law to give the hospital a 10-day notice of a strike.

The union members are registered nurses, nurse's aides, laboratory and technical staff, dietary and environmental service workers. They are working under terms of a contract that expired Oct. 31.

Catholic Health, which operates the hospital, said it would issue a statement later Thursday.

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