| After ten months, the union employee strike and boycott
against Rite-Aid stores in Cleveland, Ohio ended, and although neither side
would disclose the details, Boycott Watch has learned that the new union
contract offers less than the strikers had before their strike began.
At the heart of the demands were better health benefits, none
of which the union won. Most significantly, after just a few months of
picketing, the vast majority of the strikers had moved on to different jobs,
leaving union retirees and others to picket for them. I quickly became clear
that union members had lost far more in wages than they could possibly make
back, thus the strike was a failure.
The strike ended as a last-ditch effort by the union to save
itself as representing workers at Rite-Aid. After all, none of their actual
striking members were picketing after six, and since the union wont disclose
the numbers, there was no way of knowing if any of the original picketers were
still paying union dues by working at other union shops.
With no dues from the non-salaries of the Rite-Aid strikers,
the union had to be losing money considering the few and low paying union jobs
at the retailer the represented at the onset of the strike. The union,
therefore, had no choice but to settle with Rite-Aid at a loss if it wanted to
In our article 'Rite Aid Pharmacy Employees Strike, Boycott
Themselves' (http://www.boycottwatch.com/misc/RiteAid.htm) on March 22, 2011,
Boycott Watch stated: "Rite Aid has been in financial pain, it is not only
the wrong time to demand more from the retailer, but it also puts the striking
stores at the top of the stores to close list - Unions may win concessions in a
contract negotiations, but if the company can't afford it, the company may
close the stores, eliminating the union jobs."
As usual we were right when it comes to boycotts. Rite-Aid
has been losing money and rather than working with Rite-Aid to make the company
more financially viable, the strikers ended up forcing the company to close the
stores they worked at. While unions like to say they partner with management,
in this case the unions worked against the benefit of both management and their
Boycott Watch is not taking sides in the management-union
battle, but shame on the unions for eliminating the jobs of the hard-working
people who paid them to represent and support their best interests. On this
Thanksgiving Day, many hard working Americans are out of work, struggling to
pay their bills, and in this case the union is squarely to blame.
Boycott Watch hopes these workers, and the rest of America
for that matter, are moving toward a brighter tomorrow and wishes everyone a