American Medical Response is known for responding to other people’s emergencies. Now the company is finding itself in distress.
350 members of local 449 are planning to strike if it can’t strike a deal with the ambulance service. AMR Regional Director, Tom Maxin said this 10-day strike notice comes as a surprise. He thought the two sides had agreed on a deal which included raises of 12 to 34-percent, double time for working overtime, and top notch health benefits.
“We care very much about the future of our employees in our company. As a result of that we have offered a very robust comprehensive package,” Maxin said.
Kevin Drysdale, Vice President of Local 449 tells 7 Eyewitness News poor negotiations are among the problems that led to this moment. But Maxin said that’s not true. In fact he provided a letter of support from the union dated October 16, 2017.
AMR is the largest ambulance service in Western New York. If the strike does happen in nine days, the company has a backup plan.
“We moved Children’s Hospital in November 2017. We transported 125 patients in nine and a half hours, took care of all the logistics and the exactly the same type of planning in place here,” Maxin said.
If the strike does happen, non-union employees would drive 15 ambulances. AMR would also bring in employees from other parts of the state. Although, leaders are confident a deal will be made.