Wisconsin American Red Cross workers vote to go on strike

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 9:34 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - Workers of American Red Cross’ six Wisconsin facilities voted Monday to initiate a holiday strike.

According to the Red Cross, a strike would occur if the management and union members did not form a mutually agreeable contract. The current contract expires on December 15.

President of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO Stephanie Bloomingdale says the Wisconsin labor movement stands in solidarity with Red Cross workers as they prepare to go on strike.

“Quality wages and a fair union contracts help ensure workers are effectively trained and remain in their position to improve over years of service,” Bloomingdale said.

Members of AFSCME, a trade union, have been negotiating a collective bargaining agreement with the Red Cross since August of 2021, but after several months, management had canceled or rescheduled 21 meetings and had only attended one.

AFSCME Executive Director Patrick Wycoff said Red Cross management eventually told the employees that there was no money left 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,” Wycoff said.

If an agreement is not reached by December 15, the strike will take place between 5 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Friday, December 23. Striking workers will form a picket line outside the Red Cross’ 37th annual Holiday Blood Drive at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, asking public supporters to join them in solidarity.

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