Class Unionists Shut Down Portland Walgreens in Solidarity with Pharmacist Walkout

On October 9th Pharmacists with the American Pharmacists Association (APA) union began a three day walk out in Oregon, Washington, Arizona and Massachusetts. The actions are taking place in protest of increasingly unsafe working conditions. While Walgreens pharmacies across the country have been shutdown, other Walgreens workers remain on the job, forced to endure the same increasingly unsafe and exploitative working conditions enforced on the workers by the capitalist class.

In response, class unionist workers affiliated with CSAN at the Walgreens location on 5420 NE 33rd Ave in Portland Oregon, led their coworkers in a spontaneous solidarity walkout with APA workers. With all of the workers acting in unity, Walgreens was forced to close the store. With the entire store closed, the company is obviously unable to accumulate any profits from the workers, meaning that the workers collective leverage over the company is amplified exponentially. According to the report back submitted to the CSAN Organizing Collective,

“I started my day as usual and went to my shift at Walgreens to learn that the pharmacy department had walk out and was closed. When I had learned that many Walgreens locations that pharmacies had walked out, I told my coworkers that if we stayed we basically had crossed picket lines – we had already had to deal with the masses of unhappy customers that where get threatening with us. I explained that we will only continue to get harassed and that it would invalidate their walk out if we did not join them. I am proud to announce that the Walgreen on 33rd Ave in Portland Oregon today is closed in solidarity with the pharmacy department.”

In refusing to accept unsafe, abusive & hostile workplace conditions, in recognizing the need for working class unity of action, Walgreens workers at the 33rd Ave location join other class unionists in the retail & grocery industry in Portland, such as those Fred Meyer workers in UFCW local 555 who have recently formed a class struggle committee. We call on all retail and grocery workers to join the Class Struggle Action Network, and to work together towards the reforging of a class unionist movement capable of defending workers quality of life.

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