Canadian Blood Services workers deserve better

Letters to the Editor (The Guardian)
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It has been 200 days since Canada Blood Services (CBS) has collected blood donations from volunteers at the Miscouche Centennial Recreation Centre. There are plenty of willing donors too. The clinics are busy when they come to Island and most of the folks dutifully return every time to give blood.

I started giving blood in 2006 after a fellow farmer was seriously injured in a farm accident and needed some ridiculous number of transfusions to save his life. It worked and he is still above ground today. Blood donations save lives, plain and simple. So why has CBS not been collecting blood from all Islanders since July - a labour dispute with employees at the permanent clinic in Charlottetown.

Ten employees are lawfully striking in an effort to negotiate a guaranteed number of hours of work from week to week. Apparently, the important work of collecting blood and plasma does not merit the basic labour standard of consistent, predicable hours with benefits. Their hours are reviewed every 6 months and if they have enough hours in that time period they can get benefits, but if the hours fall bellow the magic threshold they loose their benefits. That is an absurd policy. Good on them for striking. I for one appreciate and value the work that the nurses who collect my blood do.

It’s time for Canada Blood Services to relax their tight fist, let the nurses insert the needles and get the blood flowing again. It’s in them to give... for once. If they did, then they would deserve a cup of tea and cookie when they are done.

Randall Affleck,

Lower Bedeque

Organizations: CBS, Miscouche Centennial Recreation Centre

Geographic location: Iceland

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