- Associated Press - Thursday, February 19, 2015

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Hundreds of Rhode Island Hospital workers have voted to authorize a strike.

Teamsters Local 251 says 95 percent of its members who cast a vote Wednesday night voted to authorize a union negotiating committee to issue a 10-day strike notice. The vote was 628-35. The union has 2,300 members at the hospital.

The union says it’s seeking more job security and fair wage increases and benefits.

The hospital says it’s disappointed to learn the union has moved forward with a vote to authorize a strike. The hospital says it believes it has put a number of fair offers on the table.

The union has been working without a contract. Negotiations will continue Thursday.

If the sides cannot reach an agreement, workers would have to vote on whether they should move ahead with a strike.

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