Walgreens, CVS workers plan nationwide strike

Pharmacy employees at Walgreens and CVS are in talks to organize nationwide walkouts and protests in late October, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.

CVS pharmacy employees in Kansas City called out of work in late September to protest heavy workloads and understaffing. Executives at the pharmacy chain met with the workers, who returned to work after CVS agreed to pay overtime, increase staffing and curb the amount of vaccination appointments. 

Some Walgreens pharmacists followed suit, and some pharmacies closed across four states during the three-day walkout. On Reddit — where the walkout was organized — workers reported that corporate leaders were visiting some locations. 

But unlike the labor action among CVS workers, the Walgreens walkout did not end with an agreement with the company's leaders. 

Sources confirmed to CNBC that Walgreens employees are planning a walkout to last from Oct. 30 through Nov. 1, and the organizers are in contact with CVS pharmacists in joining them. The main organizer for the labor action in Kansas City said they are meeting with CVS leadership Oct. 20, and if that meeting is unsuccessful, the CVS workers will be "100% behind" the national walkouts with Walgreens.

A CVS spokesperson told Becker's the company is "not seeing any unusual activity regarding unplanned pharmacy closures or pharmacist walkouts." 

Walgreens did not comment on another possible walkout, and a spokesperson said the company is "recognizing it has been a very challenging time" for its staff and is listening to employees' concerns.

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