Home Pharmacy practice Southern California pharmacists vote to stop work

Southern California pharmacists vote to stop work


More than 600 pharmacists and pharmacy workers at Ralphs, Vons, Albertsons and Southern California Pavilions stores could step down following an “overwhelming” vote by members to allow union leaders to call a strike.

No date was set for a strike and negotiations with the stores continued.

United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), which represents workers in seven locals, filed unfair labor practice charges against the stores with the National Labor Relations Board, claiming they engaged in
“Unlawful and unjust treatment”.

The charges include retaliating against pharmacists for engaging in union activity, attempts to bribe pharmacists with bonuses rather than negotiate wage increases, and hiring temporary workers to undermine union activity.

The seven locals make up the largest union grocery contract in the country. “Essential pharmacists in Southern California have made their voices heard with this vote,” union locals said in a joint statement Friday.

“This vote gives union leaders permission to call a strike and lays the groundwork for more than 600 pharmacists across California to stand up to protect their rights and ensure they have the ability to serve. their patients and their communities effectively.”

John Votava, a spokesman for Ralphs, told CNS that the store continues to bargain in good faith and that strike authorization does not mean there will be a strike or work stoppage.

“Our company is committed to continuing to bargain in good faith with union locals until an agreement is reached that meets the needs of our pharmacy associates and ensures our customers have access to medications. affordable while maintaining store competitiveness,” Votava said.

Votava called the unfair labor practice allegations a “fear tactic that UFCW can use to strike and disrupt our business, our associates and our communities.” He said the National Labor Relations Board had not investigated the allegations.

“Ralphs follows the law and has not been informed of any wrongdoing,” Votava said.

Albertsons, which owns Pavilions and Vons, did not respond to a request for comment.