(WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has learned of a possible strike by workers with the American Red Cross.
So, we investigated what that could mean to you.
Workers with the Teamsters Union could walk off the job at the end of the month. The Teamsters just gave the Red Cross official notice.
The union tells us new contract talks with the Red Cross have broken down. Workers with the Teamsters handle collection of blood and getting it where it needs to go.
Carl Pecoraro leads Teamsters 507. He told us this involves about 140 workers in Northeast Ohio.
“We represent people in every aspect of the blood supply chain. We want to keep our people working. We don’t want to affect the public,” he said. “The Teamsters touch, in one aspect or another, roughly 30% of the blood supply throughout the United States. We’re prepared to go back to the table. I think there’s an urgency on our part.”
Meanwile, the American Red Cross issued the following statement:
“The American Red Cross has received notification that members of the Teamsters may begin a work stoppage on March 31 if a contract agreement cannot be reached before that time. This action would disrupt the already vulnerable supply of lifesaving blood products that patients depend on, with more than 100,000 donations at risk across the country during the month of April alone. We have a longstanding history of working together with our labor partners to solve complex problems and remain committed to negotiating in good faith to reach the best possible agreement for both the organization and our valued employees. We have presented mutually beneficial proposals, providing opportunities to increase wages and maintain generous health benefits. Together, the Red Cross and the Teamsters have reached tentative agreements on many terms and conditions of employment through productive, good faith bargaining. We are hopeful the Teamsters will return to the bargaining table in good faith and continue negotiations with us. We recognize that contract negotiations are often passionate, and informational picketing may take place as part of the bargaining process. The Red Cross greatly values its employees whose compassion and hard work help those in need each day. As a non-profit, humanitarian organization, the Red Cross remains focused on delivering its mission for patients across the country who rely on us to provide lifesaving blood. While this notification does not guarantee that a work stoppage will occur, the Red Cross has plans in place to continue meeting the blood needs of hospitals and patients if a strike begins. The Red Cross supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood, so it is critically important we maintain a readily available blood supply for patients in need.”