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Walgreens walkout: 5 things you need to know

by Mark Mendoza

Pharmacy staff at several Walgreens stores across the US have staged walkouts, citing harsh working conditions that make it difficult to safely fill prescriptions. Some Walgreens locations in Arizona, Washington, Massachusetts, and Oregon have been confirmed closed, and pharmacy staff and customers have reported other closures throughout the country. Many open stores are severely understaffed as the majority of employees called out. Some locations may remain open with a skeleton emergency crew, but regional leadership is struggling to keep stores open on the West Coast. The walkouts are happening from Monday through Wednesday and are being organized by pharmacy employees using platforms like Reddit and Facebook. The number of staff walking off the job is unclear, and it is difficult to confirm how many pharmacies will be closed. Pharmacy staff have complained of being burned out due to demands for prescriptions, shots, and other services without sufficient staffing. They also face harassment and bullying from some patients. Pharmacy workers say management focuses too much on profit and disrupts their workflow. When they voice their complaints to management, they are ignored. Pharmacists are essential healthcare workers, with more than 80% of Americans saying they trust a pharmacist to diagnose and prescribe treatment for minor illnesses. CVS pharmacists in the Kansas City area recently staged walkouts in protest, prompting executives to address their concerns. Walgreens and CVS have acknowledged the overwork of pharmacy employees and are working to address the situation by providing support and resources and making investments in wages and hiring bonuses.

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