News This Weekend Of Retail Pharmacy Workers Starting To Grow A Pair.

This may be the biggest pharmacy story of the year. Someone, my friends, has finally drawn a line in the sand:

Unionized workers at Southern California's Rite Aid stores, upset with company officials' contract proposals, are voting whether they will allow their leaders to call a strike against the pharmacy chain.
Some 6,000 workers represented by seven United Food and Commercial Workers locals began the vote on Thursday, July 26, to authorize a strike against Rite Aid. The balloting is expected to continue during the weekend, and the results will be announced Tuesday, according to a union statement. 
Workers, who include pharmacists along with clerks and cashiers, have been working under an expired contract since July 15, and two weeks ago both sides agreed to stop the clock and extend the expired deal into August. (emphasis mine)

My friends. I know you know what's happened to the profession over the last 20 years. I know you've seen its slow motion destruction and I know you know who's responsible. There are three major drug chains left in this country. Pharmacists stopped being independent professionals long ago. Those three chains are calling the shots. Even if you are not employed by these big three, they own you.

"But they pay us well" so many of you so wussily say in reply as you watch your patients endangerd by practices that never would have been tolerated only 10 years ago.

Yes, they pay us well, for now.....

union leaders are incensed by Rite Aid's latest proposal, which includes the elimination of health and welfare benefits for current and future retirees and a big increase in out-of-pocket costs for workers' families. All told, the company wants to take back 34 benefits that workers currently get, said Connie Leyva, president of Local 1428, which represents workers in western San Bernardino County and eastern Los Angeles County.

Well paid is all you have left my friend. Your dignity, your control over your own work environment, your professionalism have all been taken from you. Your 20 pieces of silver are all you have left. And now they're coming after that. This has to stop. If we are ever going to advance, we will have to stop retreating.

And now someone has drawn a line for you and said "no further" You really need to thank them.

Now I know a lot of you say your concerns lie elsewhere, with issues that are not financial. Working conditions, cuts in tech hours, orders to pump out the flu shots with no additional resources. Hell, most of you can't even take a piss when you have to go. But someone is threatening to punch one of your tormentors in the face. And you know what happens then?

They start listening to you. Because they don't want to get punched in the face again. They even start to take you seriously.

Are you being listened to now? Being taken seriously are you? If not what's your plan for being listened to and respected in the future? It starts here. Whether you like it or not, you are not neutral in this. Wherever you work, for whoever you work for in the retail pharmacy world, you are on a side.

Are you going to hide and keep quiet so you don't rock the boat? That's been your strategy so far. How's that been working out for you?

Or are you going to stand with the people who are saying "no further." I'll point out here that the UFCW represents workers at CVS as well.

No further. It. Stops. Here. UFCW's email is You may want to drop them a line and ask if there's anything you can do to help. Or at least give them a few kind words.

It is pretty much the least you can do.
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News This Weekend Of Retail Pharmacy Workers Starting To Grow A Pair.
News This Weekend Of Retail Pharmacy Workers Starting To Grow A Pair.
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