A little news item from my neck of the woods..... These shameless parasites will stop at nothing, even if it means causing a blood shortage.
CLEVELAND, Ohio --Blood collection workers ended a four-month strike Monday centered on health care and working conditions at the American Red Cross, Red Cross officials said.
Teamsters Local 507 could return to work as early as Wednesday after ratifying a four-year contract Monday, said Christy Sabaka, communications manager at the Red Cross.
She said it could take several days to resume blood drives, which have dwindled since the strike began Feb. 14.
The union represents 236 blood collection employees in the American Red Cross Northern Ohio Blood Services Region, which covers Cuyahoga and 18 other counties in Northeast Ohio.
David White, spokesman for the national Teamsters headquarters in Washington, DC, would not confirm that the contract had been ratified.
"The union has no comment at this point," he said.
The local Red Cross usually holds 20 to 25 drives daily, but that has fallen to an average of five during the strike. The Red Cross was able to supply local hospitals by tapping into the organization's national inventory system to make up the difference.
Sabaka said the new contract is fair.
"The new agreement is equitable and balanced in achieving the needs of both the Red Cross and Teamsters members, and is sensitive to the financial pressures that health care providers are experiencing in today's economic environment," Sabaka said in a news release.
Union members this year were added to the health care plan given to all Red Cross workers nationally, regardless of whether they are unionized. Union members said the plan wasn't as good as their previous one.
For example, the union said the annual family deductibles in the old plan ranged from $500 to $1,000. The new ranges are from zero to $6,000. The union said out-of-pocket annual maximums used to range from $3,000 to $7,000. Now they range from $6,000 to $22,000.
Sabaka said the new contract allows for "some guarantees" limiting employees' future health care costs, but she declined to be specific. She said the union also has been granted a "seat at table" with the national Red Cross on issues relating to health care costs.
In complaints filed with the National Labor Relations Board, the union had complained the Red Cross was seeking to eliminate members' rights to bargain for health care.
Working conditions became a major issue in the strike. The blood collection employees said they often were forced to work 12 hours or more without breaks. They said management didn't alert them that more donors would be showing up at blood drives than expected. Since the Red Cross wouldn't send more workers, those staffing the drives often had to skip breaks and lunches to accommodate the additional donors, the union said.
Red Cross officials questioned whether this happened as often as the union said.
The new contract sets-up a labor-management committee, in conjunction with the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, to discuss workplace issues, including those relating to breaks and lunches, Sabaka said.
She said the new contract also includes wage increases, but she declined to be specific.
In a memo to the local board of directors, David Plate, the Northeast Ohio chief executive officer, said returning workers must complete training that had been scheduled before the strike and held while it progressed.
"Required training must be completed before employees can return to their jobs collecting blood, and the Red Cross will work with union leaders to bring all employees back as quickly as possible once the contract has been ratified," he wrote. "The Red Cross will continue to run a limited schedule of blood drives until all employees are fully trained and able to return to work."
The Northeast Ohio blood collection workers were among more than 20 unions nationally that have gone on strike against the Red Cross in the past few years. For many, rising health care costs for employees had been a major issue.
Strikes continue against only two Red Cross regions, Plate said in his memo. Those regions are Western Lake Erie, which includes northwest Ohio and southeastern Michigan, and the Great Lakes, which includes the Lansing, Mich., area.
In: Regional News
Tags: union, liberals, parasites, maggots, scumbags, cretins, looters, teamsters, blood, red cross
Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States (load item map)
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