Archive for June, 2012

UFCW Strike Stops Red Cross Blood Drive

For about four years, there hasn’t been a contract between the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 75 and the Red Cross’ Toledo office. Despite multiple trips to the bargaining table, no agreement has been reached.
Now, the UFCW Local 75 is taking a radically extreme step, and stopping an annual blood drive– one with significant local support:

The 25th Annual Interfaith Blood Drive that had been scheduled for June 23 and 24 has been postponed indefinitely because of the Red Cross workers’ strike.

Devorah Shulamit, founder and chairman of the blood drive that is supported by multiple local religious groups and individuals, said the event “has been caught in the middle of a very sad and unfortunate position due to the strike.”

The ongoing strike has centered on health care, with the Red Cross offering plans similar to other charity groups, and the UFCW Local 75 demanding more concessions.

In a statement the Red Cross issued, they clarified their position:

The biggest obstacle in these difficult negotiations is health care. The Red Cross has made proposals consistent with those made elsewhere, and we are disappointed that the union continues to demand more.

The Red Cross has put forward contract proposals consistent with the health, dental, vision and life insurance benefits package provided locally to our non-union staff, including management. We offered multiple plan options at various pricing levels designed to meet the needs of our employees and their families.

The Red Cross has settled 20 contracts with other local labor unions across the country since July 2011. Two of these agreements came after UFCW Local 75 began its strike. This shows we are committed to reaching successful resolutions to negotiations, and we believe a contract should be achieved here as well.

While the health care concerns of UFCW Local 75 may be significant, the Red Cross does significant life saving work. Blood drives are an important way to make sure that blood banks are prepared in the case of emergency. More importantly, donated blood helps save lives.

For the UFCW to continue to fight for special benefits even after other local unions have agreed to similar terms, and to interrupt life-saving services, is beyond selfish- it’s downright wrong.

For about four years, there hasn’t been a contract between the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 75 and the Red Cross’ Toledo office. Despite multiple trips to the bargaining table, no agreement has been reached. Now, the UFCW Local 75 is taking a radically extreme step, and stopping an annual blood drive– one […]