Express Scripts workers OK a bittersweet contract
Jane M. Von Bergen | Philadelphia Inquirer
December 11, 2010
In a bittersweet move, union employees at two area Express Scripts facilities on Friday overwhelmingly approved a contract that would save jobs for 400 but give up the fight to save 500 other jobs.
“It feels like a hard-earned coin,” said chief union negotiator Stephanie Haynes, vice president of Service Employees International Union Healthcare Pennsylvania.
Express Scripts Inc., the St. Louis-based mail-order pharmacy, told employees Dec. 1 that since contract bargaining had failed, it would shut down its plant on Street Road in Bensalem. It already had informed the union that its Marshall Lane plant, also in Bensalem, would shut on Dec. 16.
After the Street Road announcement, both sides returned to the bargaining table and were able to patch together an agreement.
Under the new contract, the Street Road plant will remain open for two years, while Marshall Lane will be phased out over several months, with most workers losing their jobs next week. Job losses include 350 at Marshall Lane and as many as 150 at Street Road.
Haynes said the union, which previously made $8 million in concessions with pay freezes and changes to pensions and disability insurance, agreed in the latest talks to drop an unfair-labor-practices complaint against Express Scripts filed with the National Labor Relations Board.
That agreement essentially ends the union’s fight to keep the Marshall Lane plant open.
Read more @ Philadelphia Inquirer.