A strike by local Red Cross Blood Service workers is now underway.
It began Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. after negotiations between Red Cross workers and management ended.
The nurses and donor collection staff have been bargaining for the past two months to reach an agreement that addressed staffing, scheduling, training and collective bargaining rights as well as the reinstatement of their retirement plan.
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Negotiations failed however after an appeal to management from the union that would allow issues affecting their right to bargain to go to binding arbitration was denied.
Ann Twomey, the president of the Health Professionals and Allied Employees responded to the strike in a released statement:
While there were a number of outstanding issues, we believed we could achieve a settlement if Red Cross attorney s and management would allow their demand that we waive our right to bargain over health care to go to binding arbitration. The demand by national Red Cross that we waive our rights has created a block to deal with the real issues of staffing, scheduling, training that provides safe working conditions and a safe blood supply.
Workers are picketing seven blood donor sites in Philadelphia and South Jersey.
Red Cross Officials say that the strike won’t disrupt blood donor services.