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Red Cross - Latest News and Events
Sign the Petition for Red Cross Workers!
At Red Cross, more than 3,000 blood drive workers in 25 local unions are currently working without, or under expired contracts. Tell Red Cross to respect workers' rights and invest in safety.
Click Here to Sign the Petition!
Bargaining Update: HPAE Delivers Strike Notice to ARC
September 8, 2011
Throughout the summer, HPAE Local 5103, representing Red Cross Blood Drive workers and support staff, met with management to negotiate a contract that protects blood drive donors, the workers and the blood supply. Despite our efforts to bargain over crucial issues of blood drive safety, staffing and scheduling, Red Cross continues to reject our proposals on these issues while demanding that union members waive their right to bargain over health care and retirement issues.
We are now approaching the final days of the “cooling off” period which was agreed upon after a 3 week strike in June. We had agreed on a September 9th deadline, but Hurricane Irene caused both sides to cancel bargaining dates and agree to a new contract extension date, September 15.
At this point we have given Red Cross a Ten Day Strike notice and the strike is scheduled to begin at 8am on September 16th. Several other union locals across the country have given Red Cross strike notices preparing to go on strike around the same time as our local. In Michigan OPEIU Local 459 and Teamsters Local 580 went out on strike on September 7th.
Throughout this labor dispute members have stressed the importance of gaining protections and policy changes that will improve blood safe handling practices. Just last week, the Philadelphia Inquirer highlighted a recent FDA inspection of ARC facilities in Philadelphia and North Carolina that revealed serious deficiencies. You can read the full article at http://www.hpae.org/newsroom/articles/20110901_redcrossproblems.
We have only 2 more bargaining dates scheduled before September 16th. It is time that Red Cross makes a commitment to reaching an agreement before we reach the strike date. There has been a critical shortage of blood in our Region and across the country. We understand how important it is at this time to continue to be there for donors collecting their blood to restore the blood supply. Yet, Red Cross fails to understand it is also important to make sure the blood we collect every day is safe and secure. Until Red Cross agrees to implement policies that protect the donors, the workers and the blood supply, there is no guarantee the blood they donate will be there for patients when they need it most.
We urge all of our supporters to contact Red Cross to urge them to bargain fairly with their workers to avert another strike from taking place on September 16th and to protect our nation’s blood supply.
Update on Our Fight for Blood Drive Safety & Adequate Staffing
August 9, 2011
Negotiations have resumed between HPAE Local 5103, which represents Phlebotomists and Registered Nurses, and the Penn-Jersey Region of the American Red Cross (ARC). In late May, Local 5103 members went on strike after months of negotiations and Red Cross’ rejection of the union’s offer to submit the issue of health care to binding arbitration. After a three week strike, both sides agreed to a “cooling off period” that ends September 9.
HPAE members are joined by some 30 union locals across the country who are also involved in difficult labor disputes with ARC. Almost all the disputes center on ARC’s demand that union members waive their right to bargain over health care and retirement issues. We are continuing to bargain throughout August to avoid another strike. While we continue bargaining, we are concerned that this mandate will continue to stand in the way of real progress on the crucial issues of blood drive safety, staffing and scheduling.
During these summer months, ARC faces a blood shortage. We encourage all to donate blood during these difficult times, so if your union, church, community group or employer has a blood drive planned we hope you will donate blood. At the same time, we urge you to look at our guidelines for safety at blood drives by viewing the website of the national Workers’ Committee for Blood Safety. View the Website
What Red Cross Still Doesn’t Want You To Know
ARC relies on the generosity of unpaid blood donors, most of whom are not aware that the sale of their blood generates more than $2 billion a year for the national Red Cross. Although ARC is the largest collector of blood in the U.S., ARC has a history of blood safety violations , resulting in fines of $37 million by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) since 2003. The most recent fine was for $16 million in June 2010. In issuing the fines, FDA reported 231 “serious and preventable” blood recall events with over 4,000 recalled products.
In addition to a pattern of blood safety violations, the Red Cross Blood Services Division is in labor disputes throughout the country. There are more than two dozen expired union contracts; at the same time, 212 Unfair Labor Practice ULP) charges have been filed against ARC with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
National Coalition Steps Up Public Campaign
Across the country, many of the unionized Red Cross workers are organizing together, gathering petitions and letting the public know of their struggle to gain safety for workers, donors and the blood supply.
In a letter to Gail McGovern, Red Cross CEO, on July 26, 2011, Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ-6) expressed his concern for the protection of Red Cross workers’ rights and the safety of the blood supply. (See below) Other Congressional representatives and US Senators are being approached to send similar letters. Congressman Brady in Philadelphia was one of the first public supporters of workers’ rights at Red Cross.
On Sunday, August 7th HPAE Local 5103 members, along with Red Cross workers from the Great Lakes Region, met with members of the National Workers’ Rights Board (NWRB). The NWRB helps expose abuses of workers and communities by unfair employers. The Board pledged to take up the workers’ cause and will develop a plan to engage top management at Red Cross.
We urge you to take a stand against the Red Cross “double cross” that violates workers rights and threatens blood safety. If you would like to support our struggle for blood drive safety and adequate staffing, please contact Sandra Lane, HPAE Staff Representative, at email@example.com. Thank you for your past support and we will work to keep you informed.
Congressman Pallone Urges Fair Bargaining in Letter to CEO of ARC Penn-Jersey Region
July 26, 2011
Congressman Frank Pallone sent a letter to Brigid O'Nell-La Gier, urging the region "...to respect the rights of the blood services staff and work with them in good faith to seriously address...staffing, scheduling, and training issues..."
Read the Complete Letter
Coalition of ARC Unions Begins Petition Campaign
July 18, 2011
The ARC Union Coalition, which includes affiliates of ten national unions, has initiated a petition campaign among ARC workers to show support for a just contract that protects the rights and benefits of ARC workers.
ARC Worker Explains Why She is Proud to be a Member of Local 5103
June 16, 2011
Jackie Manual, a DCA, has written a letter about how the three week strike has given her a broader perspective on the struggle of all working people and why she feels so proud to be a member of Local 5103.
Red Cross Workers Vote for 90 Day "Cooling Off" Period, Return to Work
June 15, 2011
After a three-week strike, Red Cross workers agreed today to a ‘90’ day cooling off period and will return to work beginning Thursday, June 16, under an agreement with Red Cross that the 250 blood service workers will maintain their current contract terms and protections while negotiations resume.
Why We Were on Strike, How You Can Help
HPAE Local 5103 members were on strike since Tuesday, May 24 to Wednesday June 15 due to management's demand that the local union agree to waive their right to bargain over health insurance and pension issues, as well as proposed contract changes that would have a negative impact on both working conditions and the safety of blood donors.
On this page, you will find the latest information on the contract situation and how you can help support HPAE Local 5103 members. Join our struggle to protect the safety of donors and the blood supply!
- Send a Letter of Support for ARC Workers to the Penn-Jersey Region, ARC CEO Bridget O'Neill-LaGier
Red Cross Workers and Other Unionists Picket ARC National Headquarters
June 6, 2011
Local 5103 members were joined by supporters from other labor unions as they picketed the national headquarters of the American Red Cross (ARC) in Washington, D.C. to highlight ARC's attacks on collective bargaining rights and donor safety. In the first photo below, HPAE President Ann Twomey is speaking to ARC workers and union supporters.
Videos from the ARC Strike
Photos from the ARC Strike ARC Attacks on Workers Create Blood Safety Problems Learn How ARC's Attack's on Unionized Workers Create Problems for Blood Donors and the Blood Supply Red Cross: The Facts Behind the Myth The American Red Cross (ARC)is best known for its activities when a disaster strikes. While ARC provides valuable assistance to disaster victims, its Blood Services Division has serious problems. While ARC management attacks the working conditions of its donor services staff, donor safety and the safety of the blood supply has been negatively affected. Here are some of the reasons why the public needs to be concerned about the ARC Blood Services Division: