Letter: Workers unions still standing against Walgreens

Letter to the Editor

For the last few months our brothers and sisters of the Hawaii Carpenters Union have been engaged in a bannering campaign at Walgreens Drug Stores statewide.  This campaign was intended to raise awareness of Walgreens practice of using some contractors that do not pay area-standard wage and benefit packages to carpenters and drywallers on their projects. Despite efforts to get Walgreens to pay appropriate wages and benefits, the company has ignored the plea of the Carpenters.

As a result, the Hawai’i State AFL-CIO is joining the Carpenters in calling for a boycott of Walgreens Drug Stores. At a time when everyone in our community is facing economic challenges, it is only fair that the carpenters and drywallers on Walgreens projects get local area standard wages. Walgreens is a large corporation that reported over $2 billion in earnings last year. As they profit, so should those who work in their stores. Even non-union companies like Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club use contractors that pay area-standard wages—Walgreens should not be exempt from this practice.

Our State AFL-CIO Executive Board is calling on all affiliates to let members know about this boycott so that a clear message can be sent to Walgreens: We in Hawai’i expect them to be supportive of our community and use contractors that pay local area wages. If they remain unwilling to do so they can do without the business of Hawai’i's working families.

Randy Perreira,
Hawai’i State AFL-CIO president