Rand Wilson is communications coordinator at the AFL-CIO Organizing Dept.'s Center for Strategic Research. He has worked as a union organizer and labor communicator in the United States since the 1980s.
As Rite Aid management gets ready to spin another dismal quarter to industry analysts, the union uniting workers at the company's giant distribution center in Lancaster, CA has issued a scathing new report blasting management's poor performance.
The report, “Navigating Rough Waters — Can New Management Steer Rite Aid Back on Course?” points out what Rite Aid workers across the country have been saying to management since the disastrous Brooks and Eckerd acquisition: Solving the company's financial problems on the backs of hard-working employees is bad for business and a failed labor relations strategy.
Over 75 Rite Aid workers from the Southwest Distribution Center in Lancaster, CA marched off the job during their lunch break to join supporters from dozens of other unions demanding that Rite Aid management negotiate a good contract.
The workers began organizing with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) over four years ago. Since then, ther workers have met with management more than 100 times in an attempt to peacefully reach a first contract that would put their conditions of work in a legally binding union agreement.