P.E.I. blood donor frustrated with ongoing blood workers strike
P.E.I. Canadian Blood Services workers have been on strike since Sept. 2015
Tom Corrigan continues to support striking Canadian Blood Services workers in P.E.I., but he says he's frustrated he hasn't been able to donate blood since the strike started in September.
The regular blood donor, who has given blood 100 times in the last 30 years has been on the picket line with the workers hoping he can help get them back to work.
"It makes me feel good giving blood, and it makes me feel even better when they take my blood and give it to someone else. But now I haven't been giving it the last six months. There should be something done about it," said Corrigan.
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Eight part-time phlebotomists and support staff have been on strike since September after being without a contact since March 2011. They are asking for a guaranteed minimum number of hours per week.
I won't give blood anywhere else because these girls are here for a reason. And I'll back them up.- Tom Corrigan, blood donor
The striking employees are asking for three people to work 30 hours per week, one person at 22 hours per week and four others to work at least 18.75 hours per week so they can keep their benefits.
"It's affecting the donors. They love to donate, and they love to help people. They're as eager as we are to get back in the building and get back to normal business," said Herrell.
Spokesperson Peter MacDonald said Canadian Blood Services has also heard from blood donors that are frustrated with the labour dispute.
Corrigan said he has considered driving to Moncton or Halifax to donate blood but decided against it.
"I don't think I will. I won't give blood anywhere else because these girls are here for a reason. And I'll back them up. "
MacDonald says while some Islanders have travelled to the mainland to donate blood, it's not expected.
"We wouldn't expect them to go off island to Moncton. So we're not contacting donors in P.E.I. to go anywhere else," said MacDonald.
Herrell says they are encouraging donors to wait until they're back to work to donate.
"[Its] just to show support because if people started doing that, Canadian Blood Services might think, 'well if people are willing to travel that far to donate blood, technically why do we need a clinic on Prince Edward Island?'" Herrell said.
"There must be a short supply because, look at all the people that haven't given blood here for the past five months. So they must be getting short somewhere," said Corrigan.
But MacDonald says that's not the case at all.
"One thing I can assure them is even though the labour disruption has dragged on longer than we would have hoped, that we've been able to supply blood to hospitals and patients in P.E.I. without disruption at this time."