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Red Cross announces area blood drives for February

The American Red Cross has announced local blood drives for February and reminds area residents that giving blood is a safe process, is easy and takes very little time.
Blood drives scheduled include:
• Tuesday, February 6 from 1 to 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 102 West 13th Street, Tyrone;
• Thursday, February 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Link Computer Corporation, Stadium Drive, Bellwood and
• Wednesday, February 28 from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Bellwood Senior Center, One Main Street, Bellwood.
Altoona Donation Center blood drives are every Tuesday of the month from noon to 6 p.m. February drive dates at the Altoona Donation Center at Kettle Street, Altoona include: February 6, February 13, February 20 and February 27.
Also, individuals are able to schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-Give-Life (1-800-448-3543).
The Greater Alleghenies Region of the American Red Cross Blood Services strongly urges anyone who is eligible to give blood to call as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to donate or visit www.redcrosslife.org or www.givelife.org for a schedule of upcoming area blood drives.
Although giving blood takes very little time and about 60 percent of the people in America are eligible to donate blood, only five percent do.
Anyone at least 17-years-of-age, weighing 110 pounds or more and feeling in good health may be eligible to donate blood.
Individuals with donor eligibility questions should call the nursing collections office at 1-800-542-5663.
In other news, the 100-county region Greater Alleghenies Region, American Red Cross Blood Services and the union representing approximately 160 of its blood drive workers have ended all currently scheduled negotiation sessions without reaching a new three-year agreement, according to a Red Cross press release.
The Greater Alleghenies Region and the Communications Workers of America Local 13000, which have been in negotiations since November, held their 11th negotiations session Monday. No additional sessions prior to the union’s planned January 28 work stoppage are planned at this time.
CWA Local 13000 represents blood drive workers, including health historians, phlebotomists and drivers, working in central and southwestern Pennsylvania, western Maryland, eastern Ohio, northern Virginia and eastern and northern West Virginia.
On January 8, CWA Local 13000 issued the Red Cross region a 20-day strike notice that could commence a work stoppage on January 28 if a new collective bargaining agreement is not in place. Unionized workers in healthcare organizations must provide a minimum 10-day strike notice; Red Cross officials note that the union’s current contract requires a 20-day notice.
The current bargaining agreement was set to expire on December 15 but last month both parties agreed to extend the contract until further notice.
“In the meantime, we continue to hold our previously announced schedule of blood drives and urge the public to donate blood. Donors of all blood types are needed, but there is a critical need for types O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative,” Jim Starr, CEO, said.
“Should a strike occur, the public should be assured that we have plans in place through the 35-region Red Cross Blood Services to continue to provide blood products to area hospitals. We will also continue to collect blood at operations staffed by trained collection staff not represented by the CWA.”