Over 40 Actions Across the U.S. target Rite Aid

40+ nationwide events – including one in Denver – target Rite Aid drugstores on Wed. for “corporate greed” & employee disrespect

Zack Mischo, Colorado JWJ activist, with concerned
community members outside
of Rite Aid in
Rite Aid workers, union activists and community supporters mobilized for a national "Day of Action" on Wednesday, December 15th that focused attention on the company's culture of corporate greed and disrespect for workers’ rights.

Colorado Jobs with Justice Activists took to the streets outside a Rite Aid on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver as a part of a National Day of Action for Dignity & Respect against Rite Aid’s “corporate greed” & employee disrespect. Dozens of other events took place at Rite Aid stores in California, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington and the District of Columbia. Support actions by 500 employees inside the company’s giant Southwest Regional Distribution Center in Lancaster, CA also took place on Wednesday.

"Rite Aid management is driving this company in the wrong direction," said Craig Merrilees, spokesperson for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union that is helping 500 Rite Aid warehouse workers in Lancaster, CA win their fight for respect and a union contract. “Rite Aid executives are taking millions of dollars for themselves – then telling employees to pay for management’s mistakes by gouging workers for health insurance. This kind of corporate greed is wrong; it’s ruining Rite Aid and wrecking America. Citizens across the country are volunteering to help Rite Aid workers stand up and fight back against corporate greed."

“If you can’t get a decent salary and affordable benefits for hard working families, wherever it may be, and if you can’t go to work with the dignity you are due as a human being…how in the hell do we ever expect to lift ourselves out of this [financial] crisis,” said Russell Bannan, activist with Colorado Jobs with Justice, who helped organize the event in Colorado. “In this community, we are saying this type of behavior is unacceptable and it is time Rite Aid is held accountable.”

The nationwide actions are being sparked by a rash of poor decisions by Rite Aid officials across the country:
• In Cleveland, OH, executives are trying to dramatically increase employee health care costs. The company announced plans to impose higher costs on Jan. 1 that could possibly lead to a strike.
• In Lancaster, CA, Rite Aid executives stalled talks with 500 warehouse employees for nearly two years. Now officials are proposing to gouge employees by "marking-up" the cost of health insurance 28 times over the increases charged by insurers.
• In Rome, NY, Rite Aid is closing a distribution facility that pays family-sustaining wages and benefits and provides workers with a voice on the job. Work is being shifted to a nearby location that pays low wages with few benefits and no job rights.
• In Pennsylvania, thousands of Rite Aid workers are trying to reach a fair settlement.

For a complete list of the actions taking place nationwide on Dec. 15, please contact Amy Willis at 415-517-4958 amy.willis@ilwu.org # # #

No comments: