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Red Cross Workers Picket After Talks Fall Through

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Red Cross workers, represented by the Health Professionals and Allied Employees Union, at blood banks across the Delaware Valley are hitting the picket line this morning after talks broke down late last night.

Red Cross nurses and other blood donor support staff picketed at 7th and Spring Garden this morning.

According to union spokeswoman Jeanne Otersen, those negotiations broke down, because, she says, national Red Cross is ignoring local issues while focusing on a $2-billion dollar bottom line.

“It has a mandate to take away people’s collective bargaining rights while they refuse to address issues of staffing and safety,” Otersen says. “People felt that they needed to stand up around the issues of safety and protection for workers and donors.”

But American Red Cross spokesman Anthony Tornetta says they’re just asking union members to take the same cuts that non-union workers have taken.

“We’ve asked for some sacrifices to be made during these tough economic times, and we’re just asking the union to make those same sacrifices,” Tornetta says.

And, he says blood supply won’t be affected, “I can assure you that the hospitals and the patients that are at these hospitals, their needs will continue to be met.”

Tornetta says if anyone is scheduled to give blood today, they should call 1-800-Red-Cross to see if they can still give today, or if they need to reschedule.

Reported by Jim Melwert, KYW Newsradio 1060

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  • Joe

    They are a bunch loads that need to go work. they abuse family leave daily. The reason why the blood drives are not safe is because the blood staff keep calling out on one another because they have a terrible work ethic.

  • Dom

    @ Lisa Why do they need to Unionize?? The answer to that question is the last remark you made. Thats what were fighting for!

  • Lisa

    Blood services is a $2 billion Manufacturing Business. They manufacture a drug, once goes into the red cross bag it becomes a drug. A drug that gets sold for a very high amount. They are regulated by the FDA, whom have fine them a lot for not keeping the blood supply safe. If they were doing a good job of keeping the blood supply safe they wouldn’t be under a Consent Decree. The Red Cross is not effected by the hard economic times. They can afford to better staff their blood drives if they can afford to pay their CEO $800,000. WHY DOES A SO CALLED HUMANITARIAN COMPANY’S EMPLOYEES FEEL THEY NEED TO UNIONIZE? WHO WANTS A TIRED OVERWORK PERSON PUTTING A NEDDLE IN THEIR ARM?

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