This holiday is shaping up to be a pretty bleak one for workers, at a time when the economy needs them most. Unemployment is hovering at 10 percent, and yesterday Congress failed extend unemployment benefits. Now, Express Scripts Inc. (ESI), one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit management companies, announced plans to close a prescription processing facility that employs 650 people in a suburb northeast of Philadelphia.
Express Scripts, which verifies written prescriptions, checks claims histories and formularies, and calls physicians and patients, says they are closing the facility after seeking wage and benefit concessions that would bring labor costs at the plant in “line with costs at its facilities elsewhere in the country.”
That’s what the situation looks like on the outside. But the dirty truth is that the company is knee-deep in unionbusting.
ESI has earned $857 million thus far in 2010, and demanded a concession package from the employees valued at $8.8 million. While the workers agreed to a package valued at $8 million, Express Scripts decided it wasn’t enough and chose to close the plant down. And when the doors shut, 650 seasoned veterans will be without a job.
One employee at the Pennsylvania branch described the implications of ESI’s greed-driven decision best:
Everyday we work hard to keep our patients healthy. But ESI wants to eliminate my job and put patient care at risk just to boost profits. We need to keep good jobs here in Pennsylvania.
Head on over to SEIU’s blog to learn how you can take action! The holiday season is a critical time for our struggling economy. Laying off 650 working women and men for the sake of greater profit margins is not just bad for workers, it’s bad for the economy.