Union nurses at Morton Hospital have authorized a potential strike ahead of starting contract negotiations in an effort to pre-empt what they call stalling tactics by hospital management in other Steward Health Care locations.

More than 70 percent of the 327 union nurses at the Taunton hospital voted Wednesday night to authorize the bargaining committee to call a strike. The vote enables the bargaining committee to call a strike any time after the existing three-year union contract expires on Dec.…