Union Continues Fight for CVS Pharmacists’ Breaks

| October 2, 2015

Local 727 Takes Case to Arbitration

Teamsters Local 727 representatives continue to fight to ensure CVS pharmacist members are no longer denied their breaks and meal periods.

Earlier this year, the union filed a grievance on behalf of all members for the company’s denial of uninterrupted breaks and meal periods. CVS management refused to work with the union to resolve the grievance, so Local 727’s legal department is taking the case to arbitration.

“This is a violation of our members’ contractual rights, but more importantly, the denial of breaks is unreasonable, disrespectful and shows blatant disregard for the well-being of dedicated employees,” said John Coli Jr., President of Local 727. “The union is committed to fighting this tooth-and-nail.”

The company’s denial of uninterrupted breaks and meal periods is a violation of Section 3.3 of the contract, which reads: “Each employee shall be given each day one (1) uninterrupted fifteen (15) minute paid rest period … for each four (4) hours of work scheduled. No employee shall be required to work more than five (5) continuous hours without an unpaid lunch of dinner period, which shall be not less than one-half (1/2) hour and not more than one (1) hour, as agreed upon with the employees. Store management shall provide the pharmacist with the necessary assistance to meet the needs of the business during break/meal periods.”

Union representatives also have passed out handbills to customers outside CVS stores to inform the public of pharmacists’ lack of uninterrupted breaks amid ever-growing workloads.

“When pharmacists are given no down time during their long and demanding shifts, this can affect their performance and overall well-being, and it can also impact patient safety,” Coli said.

Nothing in this article should be read as the union’s waiver of any legal argument, position or additional grievance. The union does not forfeit its right to make any and all supplemental arguments.



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