Mayo Clinic officials turned away striking workers when they tried to enter the company's facility in Albert Lea on Wednesday morning.
About 80 union members staged a one-day strike Tuesday over stalled contract negotiations and intended to return to the job after that, but when a couple dozen strikers attempted to return to work on Wednesday they were turned away.
"We walked over to the door to get in to do our work and they walked out and met us halfway on the road," said union member Marlene Baseman. "We said 'Well, we wanted to come in to work,' and they said, 'No, you're staying out.'"
Mayo spokesperson Ginger Plumbo said the company hired replacement workers on a one-week contract, and Mayo will first honor its commitment to replacement workers hired for the strikers' jobs.
Maintenance workers were allowed back in Wednesday, Plumbo said, but the bulk of the union members will have to wait until the replacement contract expires next Tuesday before they can return.
About 1,000 people work at the Albert Lea facility.
Union officials say the strikers will continue to picket, but they won't attempt to enter the building again.
A negotiating session over the contract in question is scheduled for next week.