Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa addressed 100 attendees, who gathered in Washington, DC at the Red Cross headquarters on January 24, 2017, to review the progress that has been made since 2014 and the challenges ahead.
“We all know the story of the unions and the Red Cross and hopefully our battles are behind us,” Hoffa said. “We have turned a corner and we now have in place a national addendum covering 4,000 unionized workers across the country. This was a big accomplishment. By keeping the lines of communication open we can work through our challenges. Our members are committed to supporting this great institution and we are proud to represent them.”
At the two-day meeting, representatives from labor and management heard perspectives on the Red Cross operations and the state of the labor-management relationship from Gail McGovern, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross (ARC), as well as Shaun Gilmore, President of the ARC’s Bio-Medical Services Division and Michael Filler, Director of the Teamsters Public Services Division.
The Red Cross announced additional initiatives to improve their labor-management partnership, which included the expansion of joint labor-management leadership teams in all Red Cross regions by Fall 2017. These Joint Leadership Teams (JLTs) provide union representatives with an opportunity to discuss workplace concerns and resolve disputes expeditiously with Red Cross leadership in their regions. They also provide the union with an opportunity to provide pre-decisional input prior to management formally proposing major initiatives affecting bargaining unit employees.
To date, 20 Teamster Locals in 13 states provide effective workplace representation to workers who collect blood from donors and transport lifesaving products to hospitals and Red Cross facilities around the country. The Teamsters Public Services Division represents over 35,000 medical and health care professionals across the United States.