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OSHAWA, ON – Pharmacy workers in two Oshawa pharmacies voted 100 per cent to strike for a fair drug and pension plan.  The workers, who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), will be in a legal strike position at 12:01 am, on May 8th, and will launch a ‘Do you have a drug plan? We don’t’ campaign later this week.

“It’s ironic that we work for a company that relies on patients with drug plans but does not offer their own employees a real drug plan,” said Debbie Nomm, president of CUPE 1823.  “You would think that a pharmacy would take care of their own workers with an exemplary drug plan – unfortunately that’s not the case here.”

The 25 women work as pharmacy assistants and cashiers at Medical Pharmacies Ltd., which owns and operates several pharmacies in the Oshawa and Durham area.  The workers help operate two local pharmacies, including Medical Pharmacies and Oshawa Clinic Pharmacy, both located on King Street in Oshawa.

“Our current arrangement with our employer includes submitting our drug receipts to our employer – not to a third party insurance company,” said Nomm.  “This kind of reimbursement practice reveals our members’ and their families’ private health records to management, potentially affecting job security and promotions.”  The workers’ last contract expired on October 31st, 2005.  Other outstanding issues include wages and pensions.

“We are urging our customers and their doctors to support our fight by telling management to treat their workers with respect, and offer a fair contract with a real drug and pension plan,” said Nomm.  The workers are planning to stage several ‘Do you have a drug plan? We don’t’ rallies in front of their workplaces, and several long-term care facilities that have contracts with Medical Pharmacies Ltd.

For further information, please contact:

Debbie Nomm   
CUPE Local 1823

Helen Gibb-Gavel            
CUPE National Representative   

James Chai
CUPE Communications