We Make Connecticut Happen

The Campaign For Safe Blood

AFSCME Local 3145 members picketing outside the Farmington headquarters of the CT Blood Services Region.

AFSCME Local 3145 represents 225 front-line blood services workers at the American Red Cross headquarters in Farmington, CT. Our members work on blood drives and make sure the blood supply is safe and sound. But the American Red Cross has embarked on a national union-busting campaign. Instead of negotiating just and fair agreements in each of their states, the Red Cross is putting profits ahead of safety while refusing to negotiate in good faith. That's bad for donors, recipients and workers alike.

Connecticut Red Cross blood collection workers need your help as they continue trying to protect the blood supply while reaching a fair agreement with their employer.  

Latest News: 

New Report Raises Concerns About Donor, Employee Safety
Oct. 9 - A new report by award-winning labor journalist Philip Dine raises concerns about donor safety and the security of the nation's blood supply at the country's largest supplier of blood and blood products. 

State Investigates Suspended Blood Collection Procedure
Sept. 8 - The Department of Public Health has put the Red Cross on alert for using unlicensed medical personnel.

AFL-CIO Delegates SupportLocal 3145 Workers
Sept. 9 - More than 300 delegates to the Connecticut AFL-CIO Convention unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the American Red Cross to stop disrespecting donors and workers during the labor federation's biennial convention Sept. 9-11 in New Haven. Read the resolution here.

Community Rally Sends Message
Aug. 5 - Local 3145 members and supporters called on the Red Cross to treat workers and donors with respect in a rally at company headquarters in Farmington. Read the story here.

Latest Media Coverage:

Blood Feud - Hartford Advocate (Aug. 12, 2009) 
Labor Battle Tears at Red Cross - Hartford Business Journal (Aug. 3, 2009)

Negotiations Updates and Membership Meeting Alerts

August 30 Negotiations Update: Local 3145's Negotiating Team met with Red Cross management for the fourth contract mediation session under the supervision of federal mediator Joseph Dubin. The two sides met for several hours and agreed to meet again on Oct. 18, 2009.

August 30 Negotiations and Membership Meeting Planned: Local 3145 and Council 4's negotiating team will meet Red Cross management for another contract mediation session. Negotiations will take place at Council 4. An urgent membership meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Aug. 30.

July 28 Negtiations Summary: Members of Local 3145 continue to work without a contract after a third mediation session yielded no significant progress. “While we are far apart on many fundamental issues, both sides agreed to meet again and continue talking,” said Council 4 Staff Representative Kip Lockhart. The next negotiating session will take place on Sunday, Aug. 30. Click here for the Council 4 news release.

We have scheduled two (2) informational membership meetings: Friday, July 31, 2009 at 8 p.m. at Council 4 headquarters in New Britain; and Sunday, Aug. 2, 2009 at 10 a.m., also at the Council 4 union office. Be sure to attend either of these meetings.

June 2: AFSCME Local 3145's Negotiating Team met with their management counterparts for a second mediation session with federal mediator Joseph Dubin. Despite our efforts to find common ground, the employer insists on demanding deep and painful concessions from our bargaining unit with no economic justification. Their position has not changed at all.

It is critically important for members to attend a Local 3145 Membership Meeting on Sunday, June 14, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. at Council 4 headquarters, 444 East Main St., New Britain, CT. Please note: This meeting was originally scheduled for June 21, but moved up to provide a negotiations update and action plan.

June 1: Negotiation/Mediation Session Scheduled
The Local 3145 Negotiating Team and Council 4 staff will meet with the CT Blood Services negotiating team for a 2nd session with a federal mediator. The extension of our collective bargaining agreement expired on April 26, 2009. We will keep you posted on the outcome of these discussions with the mediator.

May 29: Workers Tell Red Cross To Put Safety First
AFSCME Local 3145 members are part of the National Red Cross Workers Committee for Donor Safety. On May 29, Nearly 300 Red Cross workers ( including many from Local 3145) and their allies marched on the Washington, D.C. headquarters of the National Red Cross May 29 as part of a national day of action.

May 22-May 30: Informational Pickets Put Red Cross on Notice, Draw Statewide Media
Local 3145 members have conducted peaceful informational pickets at various Red Cross donation sites to raise public awareness about the Red Cross' treatment of the workforce in Connecticut. Here's a sampling:

May 6: Local 3145 Announces Informational Picketing: Sites, Times
Local 3145 and Council 4 have set up informational pickets for May 22 in New Haven; May 23 in Norwalk; May 26 in Bristol; May 29 in New London; and May 30 in Farmington. Click here for the flyer with dates and times.

A 30 foot rat pays a visit to Red Cross national headquarters during a May 29 rally. Photo by Bruce Haag.

April 2: Local 3145 Press Conference on Status of Negotiations
Local 3145 members convened a press conference at Council 4 headquarters in New Britain to tell the public that our goal is to reach a just and fair agreement. Click here for the Council 4 News Release.

Tell The Red Cross You Will Donate Blood at Hospitals
Council 4 has asked its members and the extended labor community to contact Connecticut Red Cross CEO Paul Sullivan and tell him that in the event of a strike, we will donate blood at hospitals instead of Red Cross blood drives. Click here for a copy of Executive Director Sal Luciano's letter to AFSCME affiliates.

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