Union To Continue Fight To Protect Collective Bargaining Rights

Press Contact Mike Parker, (517) 819-2133

(LANSING, Mich.) – Today, Teamsters Local 580 announced that its members employed by Red Cross in Lansing, Mich. will end an 11-week strike tomorrow, June 21, and return to work without a new contract in place. The members have pledged to continue their fight to protect collective bargaining rights, but felt obligated to return to doing what they do best – collecting and protecting the blood supply for the community.

The workers were forced to strike at the end of March because Red Cross wants to eliminate their right to bargain over health care and wages. The union offered money-saving alternatives, but Red Cross has refused anything less than having workers give up collective bargaining rights in order to implement its own wage and health care package.

“I am proud of our members who have stood strong these past 11 weeks,” said Mike Parker, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 580 in Lansing. “Even though we are ending the strike, I want to make it very clear to Red Cross that this fight will continue.”

Despite the union’s willingness to sit down and bargain with Red Cross for as long as necessary to reach an agreement, the company refused to schedule more than six hours of negotiations over the last four weeks.

“We knew from the start that the company’s anti-union agenda coupled with its deep pockets would make this a long, difficult fight,” Parker said. “Our members will remain vigilant and committed to not only protecting Lansing’s blood supply but also their collective bargaining rights.”

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters.