Madison Red Cross workers planning strike during holiday blood drive

Employees of the American Red Cross’s six Wisconsin facilities announced they intend to strike during the region’s largest blood drive later this month to protest management’s unfair labor practices and their ongoing refusal to bargain in good faith, according to a story from Channel3000.

“For 16 months, management at Red Cross in Wisconsin has refused to negotiate in good faith with their employees,” AFSCME Council 32 Executive Director Patrick Wycoff said. “When they finally came to the table, they told the employees that there was no money left for them because they spent it all on raises for workers in other states. These unfair labor practices have forced the workers into a position where their only choice is to strike, and our union will stand with them.”

The Red Cross released a statement on Dec. 8 stating, “The American Red Cross has received notification that members of AFSCME Local 1205 and 1558 may initiate a work stoppage on or around Dec. 23 if a successor agreement cannot be reached by the contract expiration date on Dec. 15. This action could disrupt local blood collections during the holiday season — a challenging time to collect blood that patients in need are counting on.”

The Red Cross is scheduled for another negotiation session on Monday, Dec. 12.

If it occurs, the strike is planned to take place between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 23. Employees will form a picket line outside Red Cross’s 37th annual Holiday Blood Drive at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.