Members of the Teamsters Local 507 union picketed an American Red Cross blood drive Thursday at Edison Elementary school as part of the now month-long strike for a new contract.
The previous contract expired in May of last year, and has yet to be renewed, union member and American Red Cross worker David Tidd said.
Workers are upset that staffing levels are too low during the regular blood collection drives, and that often times workers skip their lunches to keep up with the donors, potentially leading to safety issues for both workers and donors.
As part of the prior contract, workers were required to take a lunch if their shift was four hours or longer, Tidd said.
The Red Cross released a statement explaining that the strike itself impairs safety by preventing employees “timely participation in a national training system to upgrade blood drive operations,” adding that employees on strike may miss recertification during that time.
The bigger issue, Tidd said, is ensuring that workers keep their health care provided by Red Cross.
Let's see, the difference between my non-union shop is this: If your power is out I will wait to have lunch until the job is finished and get you safe and warm again, no committee needed. I have a brain and know what it takes to get the job done. If I have to wait to have lunch, I will do so. I also give blood, on my own time................imagine that!