Red Cross says Lansing strike won't impact services


Red Cross officials in Lansing say a planned 3-day strike by about 30 unionized front line workers won't have an impact on blood supplies or other basic services.

Around 30 members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union and their supporters began picketing Wednesday in Lansing. Monica Stoneking is a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross in Lansing. She says proposed changes to workers' health care plans are a stumbling block in contract negotiations.

"Now they're being told they have to pay twice as much for health care benefits? That's a huge blow and we understand that, but in these economic times, everybody has to make sacrifices," she says.

Striking workers also allege unsafe blood handling practices. Stoneking says eleven precautionary recalls out of the region's hundreds of thousands of annual donations is evidence that safeguards are effective.