Pharmacy Workers Bring Armageddon to the Bosses

From Monday through Wednesday last week, thousands of pharmacy workers from Walgreens, CVS, and RiteAid walked off the job in what is being dubbed “Pharmageddon”. The workers are escalating this fight because they are realize that the bosses cannot be reasoned with, as shown by their increasingly mad and desperate pursuit of ever-shrinking scraps of profit. The workers are tired of being forced to deal with hazardous, illogical, and inhumane working conditions just so the bosses can save a few more bucks.

As we wrote about during the one-day walkout of a Portland Walgreens walkout, store workers coordinated with the CSAN Organizing Collective to successfully shut down the entire store in a solidarity walkout with the pharmacy workers. The store was unable to accumulate any profit that day thanks to solidarity. When workers stand together, we are at our most powerful!

The pharmacy workers are not alone. Workers around the world, from all industries and all nations, are deciding enough is enough and are winning their demands by organizing and striking. Amidst this flare-up of working-class action is the revival of an old but powerful strategy called class unionism.

Class unionism is a particularly combative and effective method of class struggle that emphasizes the truth that workers and bosses have no common ground, and that an agreement between the bosses and the workers is a mere temporary armistice. It holds the strike as its primary weapon of choice in the class struggle and repudiates with prejudice any notion that the ability to strike should be sacrificed for some opportunistic short-term benefit. By withholding our labor, we deny the bosses the ability to accumulate profit from us. The bosses know this, which is why they are always trying to foil strikes by trickery and deception, and when that no longer works, draconian means.

The way forward is to form class struggle committees. These are simply groups of workers that have decided to come together in a workplace, whether the workplace has an existing union or not, that aim to organize on class unionist principles, networked with other class struggle committees in other workplaces. The committees are controlled by the workers themselves, not salaried bureaucrats or capitalist political parties. Through this network, class unionists are able to coordinate action and share critical information with each other. CSAN coordinated action has already been utilized with great success in several struggles this year.

Pharmacy workers should form class struggle committees now! Rich politicians, in the pockets of the bosses all, will not help us despite their passionate-sounding rhetoric and bluster. Only with class solidarity, across industries and across national borders, can we defend ourselves against the bosses’ ceaseless onslaught against our living and working conditions.

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