• KYW News 4:30-7am
    04:00 AM - 07:00 AM

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There are new talks scheduled between the Red Cross and blood takers in the Philadelphia area as the unionized workers enter their third week on the picket line.

The negotiations are the first since the 250 members of the HPAE union walked off the job late last month.

This session is set for Monday and will be led by a federal mediator.

Union president Ann Twomey says local Red Cross negotiators have been hamstrung by headquarters:

“One of the issues that is stopping the conclusion of the negotiations is the insistence by the national for us to waive our rights to negotiate on health insurance. We believe that’s a violation of our rights.”

Red Cross spokesman Anthony Tornetta says the health proposal on the table would allow most of the bargaining unit to pay less in premiums.

Tornetta says they’re hopeful that discussions will progress. In the meantime…

“We are encouraging donors to keep in mind that the blood supply is safe, it is safe to donate blood — it has been and will be.”

Reported by Ian Bush, KYW Newsradio

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