11/4/07

Unions unleash RICO-like attack on Rite Aid

As it attempts to boost its two-year old pharmacy benefits management company (Rite Aid Solutions) at the International Foundation Employee Benefits conference in Anaheim, CA, problems continue to plague Rite Aid.

The nation's third-largest drug chain is struggling with the integration of 1,854 newly acquired Brooks and Eckerd stores, a plummeting stock, a consumer fraud suit in New Jersey, and escalating labor disputes on both coasts. In addition, Rite Aid remains under the watchful eye of federal billing fraud monitors through May 2008.

The International Foundation expects to draw some 5,000 participants to its 53rd Annual Employee Benefits conference, held Nov. 3-7 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Most attendees are involved in administering union health care and pension trusts. At the opening of the International Foundation Employee Benefits conference, a bicoastal labor coalition is inviting attendees to a reception to learn more about Rite Aid, its pharmacy benefits management service (PBM) and its aggressive anti-union actions. Food and beverages will be served.

The labor coalition sponsoring the reception brings 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). A new website devoted to Rite Aid news will also hit cyberspace just in time for the conference. The ILWU sponsored site, www.riteaidinsider.com, tracks issues of concern to investors, consumers, and seniors. 1199SEIU also has a website for drugstore employees at www.riteaidworkerstogether.org.

(prnewswire.com)

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