Rite Aid Workers Rally Near Springfield Dec. 15

There will be a rally at the Chicopee, Massachusetts Rite Aid store at 5 Saint James Avenue at 3 p.m. on December 15. Chicopee is near Springfield. The public is welcome to attend. At the rally, Rite Aid customers will learn from volunteers about:

-- Rite Aid's decision to hike its CEO's compensation to $4.5 million per year;

-- The company's effort to impose major cost increases on workers for health insurance;

-- Rite Aid's pattern of delays in reaching fair agreements with its union workers, and;

-- The company's conversion of good jobs into low-wage positions with few benefits and no rights on the job.

In Cleveland, Ohio, Rite Aid executives are trying to dramatically increase employee health care costs. The company announced plans to impose higher costs on Dec. 1 that could lead to a possible strike by workers next year.

In Lancaster, Caliornia, Rite Aid executives stalled talks with 500 warehouse employees for nearly two years. Now officials are proposing to raise employee health care costs by nearly 300 percent.

In Rome, New York, Rite Aid is closing a distribution facility that pays family-sustaining wages and benefits and provides workers with a voice on the job. Work is being shifted to a nearby location that pays low wages with few benefits and no job rights.

In Pennsylvania, thousands of Rite Aid workers are trying to reach a fair settlement.

On November 30, a letter of concern was sent to Rite Aid CEO John Standley, urging him to meet with workers and community groups to "discuss our concerns and explore constructive ways to work together to help the company and employees to move forward in a challenging environment." Rite Aid failed to respond to the letter that was signed by Tom Robertson, president of UFCW www.ufcw.org Local 880 in Cleveland, OH; Wendell W. Young, president of UFCW Local 1776 in Pennsylvania; and ILWU www.ilwu.org vice-president Ray Familathe in California.

The Chicopee rally is being organized by the western Massachusetts chapter of www.jwj.org

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