The 11 part-time workers are striking mainly because they want a guaranteed minimum number of hours every week.
Employees must maintain at least 18.75 hours per week to keep their benefits. The workers are asking for three staff to be guaranteed 30 hours per week, two staff 22 hours and one worker 18.75 hours.
“The last two-plus years the majority of us have been working full-time, if not overtime hours, and so it’s been proven for over two years that the hours are there,” said Tanya Herrell, president of Nova Scotia Union of Public and Private Employees Local 19, who has worked at the clinic for 15 years.
“And it’s too bad for the donors as well because the donors are very dedicated here on P.E.I. and it’s just a shame that they can’t come in and keep their commitments, keep their appointment.”
About 70 blood donor appointments a day are being missed due to the strike.
The PEI government refuses to meet with Canadian Blood Service workers.
“Canadian Blood Services collection workers in Charlottetown are officially on strike as of Monday morning.
Picketers have been outside the blood donor clinic on Fitzroy Street since 8:30 a.m.
The 11 workers are part-time employees and members of the Nova Scotia Union of Public and Private Employees (NSUPE).
The main issue is the minimum number of hours employees are guaranteed to work.
They are asking for three staff at 30 hours a week, two staff at 22 hours and one staff at 18.75 hours.
“It’s really too bad. We all love our jobs and we love what we do. That’s why I’ve been here for almost 16 years, some of the others 15, 14 years,” said Tanya Herrell, president of NSUPE Local 19.
“It’s a great place to work. You know, the donors are always happy to be here. But we’re very firm in our belief that we’re not asking for too much, you know. We’re just being fair.”
Herrell says at this point, the strike should not affect the supply of blood to people on the Island who need it.
But she says the supply could eventually be impacted, depending on how long the strike lasts.”