Mayors, OPSEU President to speak at April 11 rally to save Thunder Bay plasma center

THUNDER BAY – Two mayors and the President of the Ontario Public Service Employees Union will be among speakers at a rally next week intended to save the Thunder Bay Plasma Collection Centre.

Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs and former Mayor Ken Boshcoff will be joined by OPSEU’s Warren (Smokey) Thomas and other speakers at the April 11th rally in front of the Canadian Blood Services site slated for closure the next day.

The Thunder Bay plasma collection facility is the only one of its kind in Canada.

CBS says it doesn’t need the Thunder Bay facility given it has an excess supply of 10,000 units of plasma per year. However, their annual reports reveal that CBS has been increasing the volume of plasma it has been purchasing from the United States. In their 2010-11 report, CBS indicated they purchased more than 20,000 units of “surplus” American-sourced plasma.

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When: Wednesday, April 11 / 12 Noon
Where: CBS Thunder Bay, 1165 Barton St.
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“CBS is not only importing foreign-sourced plasma, it is exporting Canadian jobs,” says Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of the 130,000-member Ontario Public Service Employees Union.

OPSEU warns that American “paid” blood donations are contrary to the World Health Organization’s 2010 recommendations to reduce transfusion-transmissible infections.

While CBS tells the public about excess supply, it has a different message for hospitals, indicating the demand for immunoglobulin (made from blood plasma) rose by 9 per cent last year and is expected to jump by a similar amount again this year. Immunoglobulin is used to boost the immune system of cancer patients and allows for more aggressive chemotherapy treatment.

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