This marked the beginning of a ten-day wildcat strike by Alberta health care workers when 120 laundry workers members walked off the job after the Calgary Regional Health Authority declared they were contracting out their jobs to a private company. The walk-out sparked sympathy strikes by other hospital workers effectively shutting down the city's hospital services. Striking workers defied two Labour Relation Board rulings to return to work. The Regional Health Authority applied for a court injunction, but didn't act on it after Premier Ralph Klein told them to back off. After a 19 hour marathon negotiating session to avert a province-wide general strike, an agreement was reached on November 23 which provided an eight-month moratorium on contracting out and a commitment from the Premier of no further budget cuts in health care for at least a year. Although Alberta legislation has denied the right to strike for health care workers since 1983, the province has one of the highest rates of strike activity in the health care sector.