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01 June 2012

A Public Relations Nightmare: Unions Call for Blood Strike Against American Red Cross

File this story with the bad public relations department.

The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) is calling on labor organizations to suspend all American Red Cross blood drives and all union members to not donate money or blood to the American Red Cross.

Why? Well, according to OPEIU Vice President Joe Marutiak, "The strike is the result of mismanagement at the American Red Cross that has put our nation's blood supply at risk and abused the employees and the donors."

Since March 30th, four unions --OPEIU Local 459 and Teamsters Local 580 in Lansing, Michigan and Teamsters and UFCW workers in Toledo, Ohio-- have been on strike against the Red Cross. Now, OPEIU is attempting to turn a regional issue into a national campaign.

"It's time to stand together!," OPEIU International President Michael Goodwin said. "We desperately need immediate support from every union representing employees at the American Red Cross. It's time for a strong showing of union solidarity to end this assault against working people."

There's no word if Georgia AFL-CIO president Charlie Flemming will stand in solidarity with his union brethren.

The American Red Cross expressed dismay with the actions of organized labor.

"We are disappointed that these unions are using strikes as a way to negotiate new contracts. We hope the union members will accept the fair offers we have made and ratify those proposals," read a statement on the American Red Cross website.

The American Red Cross provides more than 40% of the nation's blood supply. The Red Cross also provides disaster relief in affected areas.