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Striking Red Cross Workers Raise Public Awareness of Unsafe Working Conditions
Date:12/4/2009

Workers Ensure Emergency Deliveries are Transported

PHILADELPHIA, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Teamster members employed by the Philadelphia chapter of the American Red Cross are hard at work educating the public about the unfair labor conditions that they endure that could potentially put Philadelphia's blood supply at risk. More than 100 employees went on strike and set up a picket line yesterday when their issues were ignored by their employer.

Red Cross management in Philadelphia has routinely understaffed their operation and scheduled frontline employees to work 12-14 hour shifts. Long shifts in conjunction with working seven, or more, straight days, may prevent workers from being at their best while doing the vital work of transporting blood supplies.

Workers also expressed their concern with the false statements put out by Red Cross regarding emergency transport of blood products during the strike.

"Although we are on strike, we are doing everything we can to make sure that life saving blood products arrive at their destinations on time," said Carl London, a member of Teamsters Local 929 and the chief shop steward at the Red Cross in Philadelphia. The allegation that we are blocking urgent deliveries is symptomatic of Red Cross' disrespect for their employees. "We actually went out of our way to ensure that any emergency vehicles were given access."

"The public needs to know that we are concerned about our members' safety at the Red Cross, and in turn the safety of the blood supply" said Rocky Bryan, vice president of Teamsters Local 929. "The collection and transport of blood products is an occupation our members take very seriously. Above all they want to perform their jobs at the best of their ability so that there is no margin for error."

Today and tomorrow Teamster members will continue handing out leaflets at satellite blood collection facilities in the
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SOURCE Teamsters Local 929, Philadelphia
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