The region's Red Cross chapter says the union representing 50 employees involved in blood drive operations has threatened to strike next Friday if a new contract is not reached.

Teamsters Local 311 sent a letter of intent to the Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Blood Services Region warning of a work stoppage, an action the nonprofit agency labeled "irresponsible" and a potential disruption to blood collection operations to aid areas ravaged by Superstorm Sandy.

The local, chartered in 1952 and headquartered in Baltimore, did not return requests for comment. A spokesman for the national organization, Galen Monroe, said the local was autonomous and he was unaware of the letter.

candy.thomson@baltsun.com