The Union Take on Blood Donations and Thanks Where Thanks Are Due

The Union Take on Blood Donations and Thanks Where Thanks Are Due r1 ...

For many union members donating blood is a regular part of our routine. I have been donating for years and I will continue to. Because it really does save lives and as Canadian Blood Services (CBS) says: it is in me to give.

But every time I donate I have to hold my nose. CBS won’t accept donations from gay or bisexual men, or transgender women, unless they have been celibate for at least one year.

MoveUP, the BC affiliate of the Canadian Office and Professional Employees, is asking us to help end that ban. Not just because it is discriminatory, but because there is a shortage of blood out there. The ban reduces the number of potential donors and increases the pressure to allow paid-for donations as is common in the US. Already commercial blood collection companies are gaining a toehold in Canada.

“The blood ban by Canadian Blood Services is discriminatory. They say it is based on science, but it is not, it is purely discrimination,” said Gunter Seifert, a member of MoveUP’s executive council and co-chair of its Human Rights Committee. “This policy is not only discriminatory and offensive but it puts the lives of Canadians who need blood at risk by lowering the pool of donors.”

Help end the ban by signing the House of Commons petition HERE.

Thanks are due to everyone who made a contribution to LabourStart’s work in memory of Bob Haywood. And to Bob’s family for honouring us by naming LabourStart in his obituary. You can read more about that “fierce trade unionist” HERE.

And one last thank-you. This one for Lorrie King at Union Pride. Lorrie is a long-time supporter of LabourStart. If you attended our Hamilton or Toronto global solidarity conferences you went home with something she provided for delegates. A conference bag or a USB stick perhaps. This year LabourStart benefited from Union Pride’s generousity with some fancy table runners for our booth at the Labor Notes conference in Chicago. Thanks Lorrie. You and your union can see what Lorrie has on offer by visiting the Union Pride website HERE.

Be careful though. She has stuff you never thought your union needed. In confirming Union Pride’s URL for this message I discovered that union-branded lip balm is a thing. Next global solidarity conference: LabourStart lip balm for everyone!

And blood for everyone who needs it, from everyone who wants to give it too. Don't forget the petition. Sign up HERE while shopping for your union merch.

In Solidarity,

Derek Blackadder
LabourStart Canada


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