Pharmacy employees at Walgreens stores across the United States, including pharmacists, technicians, and support staff, have organized a walkout set to take place from Monday to Wednesday, according to a report by CNN. The walkout, driven by concerns about burdensome prescription and vaccination expectations placed on pharmacists, has garnered significant attention and is poised to disrupt operations in some locations.
Some employees intend to walk out for just one day, while others plan to shutter their pharmacies for the entire three-day period, as reported by CNN, which has spoken to employees in various states.
The pharmacy employees are protesting against what they perceive as excessive work demands, particularly in the realm of prescription and vaccination services. These expectations have been a source of discontent among pharmacists and support staff, as mentioned in the report.
In response to the impending walkout, Walgreens issued an emailed statement affirming its commitment to address employee concerns. The company stated, “We are actively engaged in addressing the concerns raised by our team members. We are making significant investments in pharmacist wages and offering hiring bonuses to attract and retain talent, especially in locations where staffing has proven challenging.”
This walkout follows closely on the heels of one of the largest strikes in the U.S. healthcare sector, where 75,000 Kaiser Permanente nurses, medical technicians, and support staff participated in a 72-hour strike this week. The strike, which ended on Friday, led to the resumption of stalled contract negotiations between the two parties. However, union officials have cautioned that further walkouts may be on the horizon.
The planned walkout by Walgreens pharmacy employees reflects a growing trend of labor disputes within the healthcare sector, as workers voice their concerns over working conditions and expectations. As the situation unfolds, all eyes will be on the outcome of these actions and the responses from both employees and employers.