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Red Cross Blood Banks Could Close, If Workers Make Good On A Strike Threat

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Red Cross Workers

CBS Philly (con't)

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Health professionals who staff Red Cross blood banks in our area are threatening to go on strike, if they don’t have a contract by May 24th.

The 240 workers represented by HPAE say Red Cross is attempting to use the struggling economy as a *pretext* for taking away retirement and health benefits and safety and training protections.

Spokesman Jeanne Otersen says, even in the current economy, the blood banks generate $2.2 billion in revenue.

“They’d like to use their image as disaster relief to cover for the fact that, for the blood services division, this is really a profit-making enterprise.” Otersen says disaster relief would not be affected by a strike and the union has launched an ad campaign about potential blood bank closures so donors can make alternate plans and the blood supply won’t be disrupted.

A Red Cross spokesman declined to talk on tape but issued a statement saying Red Cross is negotiating in good faith and remains committed to providing blood for area hospitals.

Reported By Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio

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