Hospital workers walked out of Deaconess and Valley Hospital on a one-day strike and were greeted with a lockout when they tried to return to work Thursday morning.
The hospitals had to replace the striking workers with temporary staff and when they did they signed them to three day contracts.
A few hundred nurses and staff from Valley and staff from Deaconess were protesting their working conditions. They say the patient to nurse ratio is at a dangerously low level.
They were on strike from 6 a.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday, but the hospitals said that if staffers missed work Wednesday they've been replaced until Saturday.
"I'm extremely disappointed for one, and my heart goes out to my fellow employees who were turned away at the door," Valley Hospital nurse Tami Omarro said.
Hospital officials say they gave employees and their representatives fair warning and they'll continue working with those employees who are unionized with SEIU.
The hospital functions continued through the strike as credentialed workers and nurses took the place of striking employees, who will be allowed back at work Saturday at 6 a.m.