ALAMEDA (KPIX/CBS SF) — After months of failed talks, thousands of nurses in Alameda County will walk off the job Wednesday morning, as part of a five-day strike filled with picketing, rallies and vigils.

Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents about 3,000 employees at Alameda Health System, will be on strike starting at 6:30 a.m.

The nurses cite unfair labor practices and staff and patient safety concerns at San Leandro, Alameda and Highland hospitals. They are calling on the county to take over the health system.

“Management has repeatedly put nurses and patients at risk by violating the current contract by deciding to cut emergency room staff in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said a statement from the California Nurses Association.

The Alameda Health System is denounced the strike, calling it “egregious, unnecessary, harmful” to the community.

Nurses at Alameda and San Leandro hospitals will start picketing Wednesday at 7 a.m., and unless an agreement is reached, they will strike until 6:59 a.m. Monday.

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