Brandon to lose Canadian Blood Services facility, members laid off

“But it’s also a big loss for all of Westman. It's never easy for a city like Brandon to see jobs cut and shifted to a larger centre.” — Michelle Gawronsky, MGEU President

Brandon (14 March 2017) — The residents of Brandon and surrounding areas have been hit with some bad news: Canadian Blood Services (CBS) will be closing their Brandon facility.

“We have a dozen members at CBS in Brandon, many of whom have put in more than 20 years recruiting local blood donors and forging bonds with their “regulars,”" said Michelle Gawronsky, President of the Manitoba Government and General Employees' Union (MGEU/NUPGE). “We’re disappointed and concerned that the community is losing this resource.”

Losing jobs in small communities means a loss for everyone

Fifteen employees — 12 who belong to MGEU/NUPGE and 3 who belong to the Manitoba Nurses Union — will be laid off as of June 8, 2017. A lack of blood supply was given as a reason for the closure. 

“In so many cases, blood is literally life,” Gawronsky said. “The people of Westman need this service as much as anyone else. Yet at this point, I’m not sure anyone can say what impact this closure may have on successful outcomes for patients in the area. ”

The CBS Brandon location was open 3 days per week. Now, CBS mobile units staffed by workers from the Winnipeg office will visit Brandon once every 2 weeks. 

“Understandably, our members are upset about losing their jobs,” Gawronsky said. “But it’s also a big loss for all of Westman. The area will be losing workers who play a vital role in encouraging and maintaining blood donation levels in the community. Plus, it’s never easy for a city like Brandon to see jobs cut and shifted to a larger centre.”

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The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE

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