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Hundreds of Benefit Fund Trustees Question Viability of Rite Aid Pharmacy Benefit Management Company
Date:11/4/2007

Rite Aid Is Seeking Business From Union Benefit Funds But Many Fund Trustees Say They Won't Do Business With The Company: 'Rite Aid Wants Union

Money, But Won't Respect Workers' Rights'

ANAHEIM, Calif., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than five hundred attendees at the International Foundation Employee Benefits conference in Anaheim, CA., walked through the convention center in the opening hours of the convention on Sunday carrying bags that say: Trust Rite Aid? Think Twice! Most of the attendees are involved in administering union health care and pension trusts.

Their message is related to Rite Aid, the nation's third-largest drug chain and its attempt to boost its fledgling two-year old pharmacy benefits management company (Rite Aid Solutions) at the conference. Problems plague the company as they struggle with plummeting stock, a consumer fraud suit and escalating labor disputes. They are unsuccessfully trying to integrate 1,854 recently acquired Brooks and Eckerd stores. In addition, Rite Aid remains under the watchful eye of federal billing fraud monitors.

A labor coalition brought together 1199SEIU (Service Employees International Union), the nation's largest health care union; ILWU, the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and UFCW, (United Food and Commercial Workers). At a packed reception at the conference Wendell Young, of UFCW said, "We're here with SEIU and the ILWU and we represent a lot of members between our unions. Rite Aid used to be the kind of company you could work with, but when they changed management their executive suite took an anti-union turn. This company has become a real problem."

Young is referring to the fact that Rite Aid is violating its contractual obligations and federal labor law and running aggressive anti-union campaigns on both coasts.

On the East Coast:

- The current UFCW and 1199SEIU contracts signed by the Rite Aid

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SOURCE 1199SEIU; UFCW; ILWU
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