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Illinois prison health workers set to strike

By AP/KWMU

Tamms, Ill – Some Illinois prison workers are spending the holiday weekend preparing for a possible strike.

The strike deadline is set for 7 a.m. Tuesday. The union representing more than 350 employees of Wexford Health Sources at Illinois Department of Corrections facilities has confirmed that planned picket lines indeed will be in place Tuesday morning, barring any last-minute agreement.

Members of AFSCME Council 31 provide medical, dental and mental health care to inmates in 23 prisons, including the Tamms, Menard and Pinckneyville facilities.

Because they are employed by Wexford, a private company contracted by the state, the workers can legally strike.

Under collective bargaining agreements, other union prison workers cannot stage a strike.

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