Canadian Blood Services strike over
'After a year of struggles emotionally and financially … this was the best choice for us.'
Blood collection workers in Charlottetown have voted to accept a new contract offer from their employer and return to work after being on strike for almost a year.
The Canadian Blood Services strike affected 11 part-time workers on P.E.I. The union announced the end of the strike in a news release Tuesday morning. The union will return to work Aug. 30, eight days short of the first anniversary of the strike on Labour Day of 2015.
"After a year of struggles emotionally and financially … this was the best choice for us," Tanya Herrell, president of the Nova Scotia Union of Public and Private Employees, Local 19, told CBC News.
"It was with huge, huge mixed emotions that we decided to vote yes for taking Canadian Blood Services latest offer. A year has been a very long time."
Guaranteed hours in the short term
The main outstanding issue in the strike was a guaranteed minimum number of hours for the part-time workers, and by extension guaranteed health benefits.
Herrell said Canadian Blood Services has guaranteed hours for two of the workers to March 2017 and the others until March 2018.
Canadian Blood Services would not confirm the details of the contract, but did say it would take some time to get blood donor clinics up and running again as staff will require "significant refresher training" as they've been away from work for close to a year, said Peter MacDonald, director of donor relations, Canadian Blood Services in Atlantic Canada.
MacDonald added that clinics across the country have been equipped with kiosks to register donors, and that upgrade now has to be done in Charlottetown.
"We're pleased that the matter's resolved and looking forward to announcing a date in the near future when we can welcome donors back in Charlottetown," he said.
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