After seven bargaining sessions over several weeks, contract negotiations for 500 Osco pharmacists have entered federal mediation.
The last meeting between Teamsters Local 727 and Osco management Monday went long into the night before the decision to bring in a federal mediator was made. The Teamsters Union has represented Chicago-area Osco pharmacists for more than 30 years and, in that time, there has been no labor action, according to a Teamsters news release.
The company wants to force its pharmacists to work erratic schedules with 12-hour shifts, the release says.
“Do you want your pharmacists to be tired, understaffed and overworked when they are filling prescriptions for you and your family?” said John T. Coli, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 727. “If reaching out to the public protects our pharmacists and their customers’ health and well-being, then it is worth it to us.”
The union will be hand billing outside Osco stores to notify the public of the safety risks associated with forcing pharmacists to work 12-hour shifts with little or no break time, the release says.
“Pharmacists are professionals who are trusted with caring for and consulting the patients and customers of Osco,” Coli said. “Unreasonably long shifts and erratic scheduling could hinder their ability to do their jobs to the best of their ability, which in turn could affect their customers.”
Teamsters Local 727 represents more than 6,400 workers throughout the Chicago area.