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Philadelphia Area Red Cross Workers Hold Rally As Strike Enters 2nd Week

(Photo by Ian Bush)

(Photo by Ian Bush)

Ian Bush Ian Bush
Ian Bush is an anchor, reporter, news editor, and technology editor&nb...
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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Red Cross blood service workers in the Philadelphia area have entered their second week on the picket line, hoping to show off their strength in numbers this afternoon as they rallied outside a blood donor center at 7th and Spring Garden Streets in Philadelphia.

It’s an alphabet soup of union activity as nurses and blood donor support staff hitting the bricks from the HPAE (Health Professionals and Allied Employees) union are joined by the TWU (Transport Workers Union), AFT (American Federation of Teachers), PSEA (Pennsylvania State Education Association), and so on.

“I’m here to thank you for fighting to protect our blood supply,” John Meyerson, of UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers) Union, local 1776 told the crowd.

A couple of hundred people in all gathered to goad the Red Cross to work up a contract that favors the demands of those on the front lines.

“The biggest issue — and what broke down the negotiations — was over health care,” Bernie Gerard, vice president of HPAE, told KYW Newsradio.

With no new talks scheduled, the Red Cross says the blood supply remains safe, with well-trained, certified people taking donations.

Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio 1060