American Red Cross workers in Charlotte, North Carolina have ratified their first Teamster contract, becoming the first Red Cross group in the Carolinas to vote for union representation.

“I want to thank Teamsters International Union Vice President Al Mixon for his help,” said Ted Russell, Local 71 President. “This by far was one of the toughest contracts I have negotiated. I had a great workers negotiating committee that helped in many ways.”

The retirement was ratified earlier this month. Workers on the committee were Toni Johnson, Mike Current, and Amy Gann. The contract included wage increases, on-call pay, meet-at-site compensation, a retirement plan, and a uniform trade-in allowance.

“We’re glad that Teamsters Local 71 stood by us and never gave up,” said Johnson, who served on the negotiating committee.

“We have been waiting on this day and it has finally come,” said Gann, another committee member.