Johns Hopkins Hospital’s service, maintenance, and technical employees went on strike at 6 a.m. and said they will picket around the clock until 6 p.m. Friday to push for hourly wages of at least $14 by the end of a four-year contract and $15 in the first year of a contract for a worker with 15 years of experience.

Union spokesperson Jim McNeill said the workers strike was authorized after the hospital’s “last, best, final” offer of $12.25 or less by the end of a four-year contract was rejected for being “so weak.” The union claims that “40 percent of Hopkins workers with at least 15 years of service make less than $14.92 an hour.” In other words, they qualify for food stamps.

If the hospital met union demands the median wage increase for all workers would be 18 percent, according to the Baltimore Sun. As it stands now, one Hopkins biomedical maintenance mechanic told the Sun that at least one of his co-workers lives at a homeless shelter.

Hopkins said it is negotiating in “good faith” and seeking an agreement that is “fair and equitable.”