Red Cross Workers Ratify Contract

Jim Zuccalo of Local 391 (Dept of Correction) presents Red Cross strikers with his union's contribution to the solidarity fund.

Red Cross blood collection workers, represented by AFSCME Local 3145, voted to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement Nov. 27, officially ending a 10-day strike that was suspended Nov. 13 when the two sides reached a tentative agreement.

Local 3145's Tashonda Thompson and her family are standing up for workers and donors.

Local 3145 members ratified the agreement by a nearly 3-to-1 margin.

The new contract goes into effect immediately and expires March 31, 2015. Terms of the agreement include general wage increases totaling 8% over the life of the contract and the settlement of several National Labor Relations Board complaints against the employer.

The ratification brings to an end a nearly three-year struggle to reach agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement. While the Red Cross did not concede on the health care, pension and staffing issues, union leadership recommended ratification of the tentative agreement.

“This is not an ideal settlement, but it is the best way to move forward and continue advocating for our workers and donors,” said AFSCME Local 3145 President Nancy Newton, who works as a Quarantine & Labeling Technician. “We thank our members for their sacrifice throughout this campaign, and the many AFL-CIO union members and state legislators who have supported us.”

AFSCME Local 3145 represents 200 blood collection workers employed by the Connecticut Blood Services Region of the Red Cross. The bargaining unit includes phlebotomists, nurses, driver technicians, laboratory technicians and more.