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The Associated Press November 28, 2011, 11:04AM ET

Red Cross workers in Conn. ratify new contract

Unionized blood collection workers at the American Red Cross have voted to ratify a contract, ending a struggle that included a strike and complaints to federal labor officials.

Larry Dorman, spokesman for Local 3145 of the American Federal of State County and Municipal Employees, says workers voted by a 3-1 majority Sunday to approve the agreement. Red Cross workers represented by AFSCME include phlebotomists, nurses, lab technicians and driver technicians.

The Red Cross said in a statement Monday that the agreement is balanced and recognizes financial pressures affecting the health care industry. The contract extends to March 31, 2015.

Employees will receive an 8 percent pay increase over the life of the contract, but the Red Cross prevailed on health care, pension and staff issues. Dorman says union leadership still recommended approval.

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