Red Cross Workers Strike Over Staffing Disagreement
About 270 nurses and medical technicians who collect blood for the Red Cross on Monday began a strike over staffing disagreements, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The workers are represented by Local 721 of the Service Employees International Union.
The union says Red Cross nurses and medical technicians are understaffed, causing longer waiting times for giving blood that discourage people from donating. The union has demanded that the Red Cross assign two registered nurses to oversee each blood drive. The organization often assigns only one registered nurse.
The strike has impacted at least five of the 13 Red Cross blood collection facilities statewide, including some centers that were forced to close.
Teresa Solorio, Red Cross Blood Services public affairs manager, said, "The strike will affect our collections for the next couple of days, but working with blood from facilities across the county, we will maintain a good, safe blood supply."
Meanwhile, the union has distributed lists of local hospitals and non-Red Cross blood banks where people can donate blood.
Both sides said they were confident that a deal could be reached (Mathews, Los Angeles Times, 5/1).