5-day strike ends for Olympia hospital workers

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OLYMPIA, Wash. —

A strike for health care workers ended Saturday morning in Olympia.

About 530 employees at Providence St. Peter Hospital, and 150 workers from Providence SoundHomeCare and Hospice are going back to work after a five-day strike.

Providence St. Peter Hospital introduced a new health care package in January, and the workers said it had higher deductibles, forcing some to put off their own health care decisions.

The workers are hoping the limited walkout will convince Providence to negotiate a new deal.

KIRO 7 Eyewitness News reporter Frank Field spoke with a worker who walked off the job earlier in the week to protest their own higher health care costs.

“I tell you, it was a huge victory and we’re all really proud, and now, we’re going to go back to the bargaining table with our found strength and unity and hopefully make something happen of it,” said Desmond Ellis.

The hospital hired replacement workers so the strike would not affect patient care.