Area Hospitals Receiving Blood from Alternate Sources
(LANSING, Mich.) – Teamster employees of Red Cross in Lansing, who were forced to strike at the end of March, will continue their shutdown of blood drives until Red Cross management makes ample time available for bargaining to reach an agreement.
“Despite nearly seven weeks of cancelled blood drives across the state, Red Cross is only offering six hours of bargaining time to the Teamsters — and not until June 19,” said Mike Parker, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 580 in Lansing. “This is an insult to the City Council of Lansing which passed a resolution in support of our members. By the time June 19 rolls around, our members will have been on strike 11 weeks.”
According to hospitals, blood plasma is currently being supplied by alternate sources. This is in direct contradiction to the statements the Red Cross has pushed out that the strike is “threatening” the area blood supply.
“We will bargain with Red Cross at any time for as long as it takes to reach an agreement,” Parker said. “But, all they will offer us is six hours. Our members are committed to retaining their collective bargaining rights as much as they are committed to providing caring service to donors who visit the blood drives. Forced out on strike by Red Cross, our members remain strong and proud.”
Teamsters have been on strike because Red Cross wants to take away their right to bargain over health care and wages. The union has offered money-saving alternatives, but Red Cross refuses anything less than having workers give up collective bargaining rights in order to implement their own wage and health care package.
In addition to the Teamster unit in Lansing, Teamsters in Cleveland, United Food and Commercial Workers Union members in Toledo and Office and Professional Employees International Union members in Lansing are also on strike against Red Cross.
BY COUNCIL MEMBERS TINA HOUGHTON, KATHIE DUNBAR, BRIAN JEFFRIES, DERRICK QUINNEY, A’LYNNE ROBINSON, JODY WASHINGTON, CAROL WOOD, AND JESSICA YORKO
RESOLVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LANSING
WHEREAS, the American Red Cross Blood Services Division Workers of Lansing were forced to strike on March 30, joining workers in Cleveland, who walked out on Feb. 14 because the American Red Cross wants its workers to accept staffing levels that could endanger the blood supply. For the dedicated staff members at blood collection sites, these are critical issues that cannot be sacrificed; and
WHEREAS, the American Red Cross Service Workers are on strike to protect their rights to collectively bargain. The American Red Cross has stated as part of their bargaining objectives that they wish to strip the rights of the workers to bargain over their wage package; and
WHEREAS, the American Red Cross has been responsible for numerous safety violations by the FDA resulting in over $30,000,000 worth of fines. Staff has been harassed and discriminated against for reporting such safety issues to the FDA; and
WHEREAS, the American Red Cross has also been found guilty by the National Labor Relations Board of violating the rights of its workers by committing several unfair labor practices;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Lansing City Council calls on the Red Cross to meet and bargain fairly with its employees and resolve this strike in an equitable manner that assists in protecting America’s Blood supply and preserves workers’ rights to collectively bargain.
Source: Teamsters Local 580, Lansing
For Immediate Release Contact: Mike Parker
May 17, 2012 Phone: (517) 819-2133
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