Walgreens pharmacy employees walk out across U.S.
Employees at Walgreens pharmacies across the United States walked out Monday, protesting what they call unsafe working conditions at the stores.
Closures were confirmed by CNN at Walgreens stores in Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts and Arizona.
Walgreens staff and pharmacists have reported understaffed teams having to meet increased demands, such as dealing with backlogged prescriptions and administering vaccines.
Employees are asking that the company hire more staff, be transparent about how payroll hours are assigned, create mandatory training hours and give advance notice when a position opens at a store or when staff will be reduced.
Walgreens spokesperson Fraser Engerman confirmed in a statement to The Times that “a small number of our pharmacies” have experienced disruptions, but “nearly all of our 9,000 locations continue to serve our patients and customers.”
“We also understand the immense pressures felt across the U.S. in retail pharmacy right now,” he said. “We are engaged and listening to the concerns raised by some of our team members. We are committed to ensuring that our entire pharmacy team has the support and resources necessary to continue to provide the best care to our patients while taking care of their own well-being.”
Monday’s action follows walkouts a few weeks ago by CVS pharmacy employees at locations in Kansas City.
The Times detailed last month how Californians were being harmed by errors at chain pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS because pharmacists were overworked, having to fill hundreds of prescriptions during each shift while vaccinating patients, working at the cash register and calling doctors to confirm prescriptions.
Pharmacies in California will now have to report prescription errors under legislation recently signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
The bill, written by Assemblymember Matt Haney, a San Francisco Democrat, allows pharmacists to increase staffing when they believe the workload is too much to handle.
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