Striking P.E.I. blood services workers take their fight to Ottawa

A tiny group of nine blood collection workers in Charlottetown who have been on strike nearly three months have taken their picket all the way to the nation's capital before a meeting with the CEO of Canadian Blood Services.

Representatives from group of 9 striking workers to air grievances with Canadian Blood Services CEO

Striking blood services workers from Charlottetown will picket Wednesday in Ottawa before a meeting with the organization's CEO. (submitted)

A tiny group of nine blood collection workers in Charlottetown who have been on strike nearly three months have taken their picket all the way to the nation's capital before a meeting with the CEO of Canadian Blood Services.

​The group's four representatives will picket at a blood clinic on Carling Avenue in Ottawa on Wednesday afternoon.

On Thursday morning, they'll meet with Canadian Blood Services CEO Dr. Graham Sher.

It's not fair to patients, or to donors, or to us, to make us precarious workers.— Tanya Herrell, union representative

"We plan to ask Dr. Sher to explain to us why Canadian Blood Services won't agree to guarantee us a minimum number of hours in our contract," Tanya Herrell, President of Local 19 of the Nova Scotia Union of Public and Private Employees, said in a written release.  

"We don't understand why this is such a sticking point when we were already working more hours than we're asking be guaranteed."

The workers say they need a minimum number of hours to ensure they have a reliable income and can continue participation in their benefit plan.

"It's not fair to patients, or to donors, or to us, to make us precarious workers," said Herrell. 

The workers said they are are eager to get back to work soon because they know there is often an increased demand for blood and plasma during the holiday season. They said no formal talks have taken place in the 12 weeks since the strike began.

Canadian Blood Services has said it won't comment on issues being discussed in bargaining.

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