A man donates blood at a Red Cross tent.
A man donates blood at a Red Cross tent. - 
Listen To The Story

by John Dimsdale

A group of union members and consumer advocates will charge the Red Cross with dozens of blood-safety problems this year. Union workers blame chronic understaffing and a lack of training.

Arlene Holt Baker at the AFL-CIO says the Red Cross has been cutting too many corners.

"They should be making sure they are adequately staffed with the professional staff they need at every level to insure that the blood is safe," she says.

The FDA reports no improvement in the Red Cross' safety record since the FDA's most recent report card last fall. The Red Cross says the new charges of mismanagement are really just part of ongoing labor negotiations.

Spokeswoman Stephanie Millian read from a statement issued late yesterday.

"Some of these unions are using a series of press conferences at different locations across the country as a negotiating tactic to try to gain leverage at the bargaining table," the statement reads.

Unions say nine local labor contracts are currently in negotiation with the Red Cross.