Red Cross Workers Unite for Fair Contract, Better Working Conditions

Across the country, front-line blood collection workers at the American Red Cross, including members of Local 3145 of AFSCME Council 4 in Connecticut, are fighting to improve working conditions in national contract negotiations with their corporate employer.
Local 3145 is part of a national union coalition representing more than 4,500 Red Cross employees currently bargaining with ARC over issues like affordable, quality health care, improvements to staffing and scheduling, and worker and donor safety.

Last week, union representatives – including Local 3145 Vice President Jessica Shuck, a collection technician for the Connecticut branch of the Red Cross, and Council 4 Staff Representative Scott Soares – met with ARC management representatives in Washington, DC.
 To coincide with the bargaining session, ARC workers wore unity buttons and stickers during blood drives, including a high-profile blood drive at Yard Goats Stadium in Hartford.

“This is about dignity and respect for all of us who are dedicated to protecting the country’s blood supply,” Shuck said. “We are stronger together when we work as a national coalition.”
The union coalition’s proposals are centered on investing in employees, decreasing turnover, and saving millions of dollars. The Red Cross has countered with regressive proposals.
“Our goal is to improve working conditions and protect the integrity of the blood supply,” said Local 3145 President Joe Tine, a Red Cross collection technician.
Union coalition members also produced a video (posted below) to remind the public and the donor community about the unsung heroes who collect, process and transport the blood that ARC sells to hospitals and other health care institutions.

Local 3145 is Council 4’s largest private sector labor union. Stay tuned for bargaining updates but above all, when you give blood, thank your Local 3145 sisters and brothers, and tell Red Cross management on the premises that you want to see our members get the fair and reasonable settlement they deserve.
The Coalition of American Red Cross Unions is made up of locals from 9 national unions: AFSCME, American Federation of Teachers, Communications Workers of America, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Union of Operating Engineers, Service Employees International Union, United Auto Workers, United Food & Commercial Workers and United Steelworkers.