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Red Cross to strike; blood supply threatened

May 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
320 Red Cross employees, who collect blood throughout southern California, announced Wednesday they will join a nationwide strike involving 1,000 Red Cross employees in six other U.S. cities. Union officials say the job action could threaten local blood supplies. Union officials held Wednesday's news conference to announce the job action and to criticize what it says is management's move to replace registered nurses with non-medical staff at mobile blood drives.

They claim that would unnecessarily put donors at risk. They also criticized what they said was management's unwillingness to implement safety measures, including officially weighing and measuring donors under age 20.

Southern California workers have been negotiating since March for a new contract. They voted overwhelmingly to approve a strike May 2.