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Two CVS pharmacies in Rhode Island file to unionize

Pharmacy professionals at a CVS in Las Vegas are set to have a union election April 24.

Two CVS pharmacies in Rhode Island reportedly filed on Friday to unionize, per a Fox news report

The stores, which are both 24 hour stores, are located in Wakefield and Westerly and they are reportedly seeking to join The Pharmacy Guild, a U.S. trade union exclusively specializing in representing and unionizing pharmacy professionals, in an effort to fight for higher staffing levels, which they claim will lead to optimal patient safety and care outcomes, per the report.  

The report also noted that workers in Nevada filed to unionize with The Pharmacy Guild at the end of March and are set to have a union election April 24.

[Read more: Pharmacists at CVS, Walgreens reportedly planning another round of walkouts]

The pharmacy professionals at CVS Omnicare in Las Vegas became the first in the nation to join the nationwide push to unionize "and transform the high-stakes industry," the report said, citing the group. 

"Our pharmacy, like most corporate pharmacies, often lacks the safe staffing levels needed to deliver the standard of care our patients deserve," a CVS Omnicare pharmacy professional, who is part of the drive to unionize, said, "My patients count on me to keep them healthy and safe, and by unionizing I’ll gain a voice to do just that," per the report.

In October, Drug Store News reported that certain employees at CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance pharmacies were staging a three-day walkout starting Oct. 30, to get the companies to improve working conditions and increase staff, among other issues, per a Reuters report

The October walkout, which the organizers called "Pharmageddon," came on the heels of a two-day strike in September by some staff from CVS stores in Kansas City, and a walkout by Walgreens store employees earlier that month.

A corporate spokesperson from CVS provided Drug Store News with the following statement today: "Since 2021, we’ve invested roughly $1 billion in wage increases and, in 2024, we’re awarding tens of millions of dollars in bonuses to recognize and thank our pharmacists and pharmacy technicians." 

The statement continued, "We’re enabling pharmacy teams to schedule additional support as needed, enhancing recruitment and strengthening pharmacy technician training. We’re also introducing innovative tools to support workload and workflow, enabling our pharmacy teams to better focus on patient care."

[Read more: Pharmacy staff at Walgreens, other chains reportedly planning nationwide walkout]

The statement concluded, "Our customer and colleague net promotor scores (NPS), which measure loyalty, satisfaction and enthusiasm, continue to trend up in the front store and pharmacy driven by investments we’re making in our stores, pharmacies and colleagues. We respect our employees’ right to either unionize or refrain from doing so. We believe the direct, two-way relationship we have with our colleagues is the best way to resolve workplace concerns. We continually listen to our colleagues’ feedback which helps inform our programs and policies."

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