Canadian Blood Services workers vote for a strike

Saint John (March 17, 2014) – The Canadian Blood Services workers, members of CUPE Local 1655, have rejected their Employer’s latest offer and voted yesterday in favor of a strike action.

“The workers rejected the latest contract offer since it did not adequately address the rates of pay and the issue of the hours of work”, explained Mike Davidson, CUPE representative.

“The Canadian Blood Services employ workers all over the country and we believe that the workers in New Brunswick should be paid at the same rate as their counterparts in the Atlantic Provinces who have regular hours of work.”

“The Employer is refusing to negotiate wages. Instead, the Employer wants to have the employees’ wages tied to hospital rates of pay.”

“The work of the Canadian Blood Services employees is different than any hospital job.  Our members are travelling all over NB, up to 72 hours away from home, setting up blood donor clinics, ensuring the safety of the donor and the safety of the patients who rely upon it. Their jobs are critically unique to any hospital job and therefore you cannot compare apples to oranges”, added Davidson.

The workers will be in a legal strike position as of tomorrow. CUPE Local 1655 has requested another meeting with the Employer who has agreed to meet next Thursday March 27th in hopes of negotiating a better deal for these workers.  Until then, the Union has agreed not to withdraw their services.

CUPE Local 1655 members have been without a collective agreement since January 1, 2012.  CUPE Local 1655 represents almost 40 phlebotomists, clinic assistants and drivers.