PEI

Canadian Blood Services strike over

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.

'After a year of struggles emotionally and financially … this was the best choice for us.'

Canadian Blood Services workers were on strike for almost a year. (Submitted by Tanya Herrell)

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.

'It was with huge, huge mixed emotions that we decided to vote yes," says Tanya Herrell. (CBC)

"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.

Comments

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.

now