Source: IAMAW

Pharmacy professionals at CVS Omnicare Las Vegas have won their union election, solidifying The Pharmacy Guild as the first in the nation to lead the burgeoning nationwide push to unionize and transform the high-stakes industry. Pharmacy professionals at CVS Omnicare fill prescriptions for Nevada’s nursing homes, serving elderly and vulnerable patients whose lives depend on their speed and accuracy.

Workers celebrated on the ground following the results. “I’m happy we finally have the chance to secure safe staffing, better wages and benefits for the hard work and dedication we put in for our patients every day. For a long time, we have been understaffed, overworked, and underpaid,” said one pharmacy technician active in the drive at CVS Omnicare. “I’m grateful to my coworkers for taking this step together.”

The unionization at CVS Omnicare underscores the growing momentum among pharmacy professionals to secure the safe staffing levels necessary to deliver excellence in patient care. Pharmacy professionals at two CVS corporate retail stores in Rhode Island have also officially confirmed that they filed to unionize with The Pharmacy Guild(TPG), taking the national movementto unionize the industry directly to CVS’ doorstep.

“Our fight for a union is about advocating for the respect and support necessary to sustain our contributions to the well-being of our communities,” said a pharmacist at CVS Omnicare. “There have been periods when we were horribly understaffed and our volume was just too much for a 24/7 facility. We had to band together just to scrape by for a few months. Now, our working conditions can’t be ignored.”

Unsafe staffing levels have reached crisis levels for pharmacies across America, with severe shortages consistently reported by pharmacy professionals across major chains like CVS, Walgreens, and RiteAid. The crisis launched an organic nationwide movement in 2023, when thousands of pharmacy professionals across multiple employers walked out in protest of the dangerous conditions in a “pharmageddon” that birthed union drives across the country.

“The solidarity displayed by pharmacy professionals in Las Vegas speaks volumes about their steadfast devotion to putting patient care ahead of corporate interests,” said Dr. Shane Jerominski, a community pharmacist, advocate for industry reform, and co-founder of The Pharmacy Guild. “This victory is a clear signal to CVS that their employees are ready to confront the crisis in the industry with paramount emphasis on safeguarding the well-being of our patients and defending our profession.”

The Pharmacy Guild, an initiative of IAM Healthcare, is the nation’s only union dedicated exclusively to organizing and representing pharmacy professionals across employers in a specialized trade union. IAM Healthcare is a national healthcare union within the powerful International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

“I commend The Pharmacy Guild on their exhilarating first victory,” said IAM International President Brian Bryant. “This triumph underscores the unstoppable power of pharmacy professionals when they unite to advocate for the safety of their patients and the integrity of their work. They are showing workers everywhere that when you stand up to corporate giants like CVS – and when you stick together with your coworkers –  you win. This is just the beginning.”

The union drives spreading at pharmacies across the country – including numerous grassroots drives that are not yet public – represent a significant shift in the industry and reflect a growing awareness of the power of solidarity and collaboration in addressing workplace safety and inequalities.