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    AFL-CIO Criticizes Walgreens' Pharmacy Safety and Labor Practices

    WASHINGTON -- AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Richard Trumka called on leading drugstore chain Walgreen Co. yesterday to reform its pharmacy safety and labor practices to protect consumers.

    WASHINGTON -- AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Richard Trumka called on leading drugstore chain Walgreen Co. yesterday to reform its pharmacy safety and labor practices to protect consumers.

    "Walgreens' pharmacy business and its pharmacists are critical to Walgreens operations, and patient safety depends upon high quality pharmacy staffing," said Trumka in a statement.

    In a letter to Walgreens c.e.o. David Bernauer, Trumka cited a survey by the United Steelworkers International Union of Walgreens pharmacists in the Chicago and Northwest Indiana area that indicates a deep concern over pharmacy safety. The National Pharmacists Association, whose members participated in the survey, reports that many Walgreens pharmacists are filling in excess of 20 prescriptions per hour -- a potentially dangerous level, according to the AFL-CIO.

    "Working Americans rely on Walgreens to provide quality pharmaceutical services, and the retirement savings of America's working families are invested in companies like Walgreens," explained Trumka.

    Pharmacist workloads are an important factor in pharmacy safety, according to Trumka. "We urge the Board of Directors to conduct a review of Walgreens pharmacy workloads and labor policies. This process should be conducted in a transparent manner, and the results should be disclosed in a report to customers and shareholders," he said.

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