June 18, 2024

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Pharmacy staff from Walgreens, chains like CVS to walk out again

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A sign advertises COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccine shots at a Walgreens Pharmacy in Somerville, Massachusetts, August 14, 2023.

Brian Snyder | Reuters

Some pharmacy staff from Walgreens and other drugstore chains are planning to walk out next week in the latest pushback against what they call unsafe working conditions that put both employees and patients at risk. 

Organizers of the effort and some pharmacy employees told CNBC they hope the work stoppage will push companies to make meaningful changes to address the long-standing grievances of many retail pharmacy staff, who have complained about having to grapple with what they describe as understaffed teams, insufficient pay and increasing work expectations imposed by corporate management. 

The walkout, which organizers have dubbed “Pharmageddon,” will occur Monday through Wednesday across different retail pharmacy locations nationwide, organizers of the effort told CNBC. 

An organizer named Shane Jerominski, an independent pharmacist who used to work for Walgreens, said the walkout could tentatively affect hundreds of stores across different chains.

Jerominski, who is a pharmacy labor advocate, said organizers still don’t have a definitive count of employees who will participate in the effort. But he noted that the “bulk” of those who have signaled they plan to walk out are staff from Walgreens — who laid the groundwork for the initiative — and employees from CVS and Rite Aid.

Organizers are also planning to hold rallies outside a few locations in different parts of the country, according to Jerominski and a second person involved with the planning, who requested to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation.

Jerominski and the person, who is a former pharmacy manager at supermarket chain Publix, also said they are considering a push for unionization of pharmacy staff who are currently not represented. There are no concrete agreements to move forward to join a labor group. 

A spokesperson for Walgreens said the…

2023-10-29 08:00:02

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