Labor Action Causes Cancellation of Largest Region Blood Drive

February 10, 2012

American Red Cross Exasperated by Union’s Move to Strike

Labor Action Causes Cancellation of Region’s Largest Drive

Cleveland, OH – The Northern Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross announced today that the annual blood drive scheduled for February 14 at Landerhaven Executive Caterers is cancelled.  The impending strike by Teamsters Local #507 has made it impossible to hold the blood drive. 

People who give platelets – a component of blood – at three Red Cross donor centers will also be unable to donate.  “Platelets are often vital in the treatment of many illnesses, including cancer. Because platelets have a shelf life of only five days, being unable to collect for even one day is concerning,” said Christy Sabaka, Regional Communications Program Manager.

The American Red Cross is stunned that Teamsters local # 507 would think of putting the well-being of the community and the livelihood of fellow employees at risk by signaling a breakdown of negotiations with a strike.  In fact, 16 other unions across the country have reached successful resolutions with the organization since last July.  We believe a similar resolution should be achieved here.

The union’s actions could also hamper employees’ timely participation in a national training system to upgrade blood drive operations.  The training involves specialized equipment brought into the region for a specific, limited time.  At this point, it is possible that those who do not attend the full curriculum would not be certified to return to their jobs after the strike ends until they are able to be properly trained.

To meet the needs of 57 local hospitals, the Red Cross Northern Ohio Region must support 12,000 transfusions each week. That means the region needs to collect 900 units of blood each day.  “It is unconscionable that this union would consider potentially compromising the lives of patients to further their own agenda.”

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at