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Workers Ask Health Insurer to Let Them Return

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A New York state health insurer has locked out 390 employees and plans to subcontract their work out of the region, a union says.

The workers – members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 212 in Buffalo, N.Y. – have been handling customer service, claim processing, document reproduction and clerical support services for HealthNow New York Inc., Buffalo, N.Y., which does business as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York.

The workers’ contract expired April 25, and the workers have been locked out of their jobs since that date, the OPEIU says.

The OPEIU is trying to negotiate a new contract and help the workers return to their jobs, the union says.