Will Your Walgreens Pharmacy in NJ Close? Workers Walk Out
Months of pressure, burnout and extra work demands have apparently led to a walkout by pharmacy staff at some Walgreens store locations on Tuesday.
As first reported by CNN, pharmacists, technicians and support staff were planning the action through Wednesday, though the exact locations remained unclear.
"A small number of our pharmacies are experiencing disruptions and we apologize for any inconvenience," according to a Walgreens statement issued to New Jersey 101.5 on Tuesday.
It continued "Nearly all of our 9,000 locations continue to serve our patients and customers."
Walgreens has 199 New Jersey stores listed on its website.
On social media, the effort was dubbed "Operation Spotlight" in posts about the years-long snowball effect of stresses since the height of the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The same Walgreens statement recognized “unprecedented effort” from team members over the past few years and said the company was “making significant investments in pharmacist wages and hiring bonuses to attract/retain talent.”
Problems cited by Walgreens workers
A survey of more than 4,400 pharmacy workers — many from the eastern U.S. — last year found that top workplace concerns included "increased demands, harassment, and bullying by patients/consumers experienced by pharmacy staff," as well as "concern due to insufficient and ill-trained staff."
About half of those surveyed by the American Pharmacists Association worked for chain pharmacies.
An emailed request for comment from the New Jersey Pharmacists Association was not immediately answered on Tuesday.