Charlottetown Canadian Blood Services workers strike for 2nd day

Striking Charlottetown Canadian Blood Services employees were on the picket line for the second day on Tuesday.

11 part-time employees looking for guaranteed number of hours per week

Charlottetown Canadian Blood Services workers began their strike on Monday. (Krystalle Ramlakhan/CBC)

Striking Charlottetown Canadian Blood Services employees were on the picket line for the second day on Tuesday.

The 11 part-time workers are striking mainly because they want a guaranteed minimum number of hours every week.

Employees must maintain at least 18.75 hours per week to keep their benefits. The workers are asking for three staff to be guaranteed 30 hours per week, two staff 22 hours and one worker 18.75 hours.

Blood donor Gerard Dougan supports the striking workers. (CBC)
"The last two-plus years the majority of us have been working full-time, if not overtime hours, and so it's been proven for over two years that the hours are there," said Tanya Herrell, president of Nova Scotia Union of Public and Private Employees Local 19, who has worked at the clinic for 15 years.

"And it's too bad for the donors as well because the donors are very dedicated here on P.E.I. and it's just a shame that they can't come in and keep their commitments, keep their appointment."

About 70 blood donor appointments a day are being missed due to the strike.

2 jobs eliminated say employees

Gerard Dougan donates every week. He supports the workers.

"I think we all deserve to have the right of comfort zone in employment and to have part-time people all the time and them with no guarantees and changes. I just don't think it's good management," said Dougan.

Tanya Herrell says her job will be eliminated in February. (CBC)
In addition, two workers say they've been told their jobs will be eliminated in February because the organization will start using an automated system with kiosks to register donors. 

"I was devastated. I love my job. I love the donors and my co-workers," said program clerk Patti Hooley.

"I just think having a person here is still important, but the computerized system is a really good idea as well."

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

The director of donor relations told CBC the service has announced that it is working on automating the processes in the clinic to improve the donor experience. "At this point in time the staff impacts have not been confirmed," said Peter MacDonald. "They are some of the things that we remain in discussions at the bargaining table on."

Canadian Blood Services does say hospital delivery of blood products won't be interrupted.

"I believe our national inventory would be able to maintain for whatever the duration of the labour disruption might be and hospital patients or residents of Prince Edward Island shouldn't be concerned about the safety or supply of the blood system," said MacDonald.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.