POCA, W.Va. — Teamsters Local 175 said Monday it is developing a strategy in response to Rite Aid’s announcement that it will close its longtime distribution center in Poca within two years eliminating 230 jobs.

Local 175 President Ken Hall said Rite Aid has been dishonest with the union. He said the company expressed concerns about health insurance costs, worker attendance and productivity. Hall said the union had a plan to meet all of those concerns but when they approached the company during the latest round of contract talks Rite Aid responded with the closure announcement.

“They backed off and said, ‘We’re going to close.'”

Rite Aid said the building housing the distribution center is old and outdated and it would cost too much to bring it up to date. The company said it can operate more efficiently by closing the facility. It plans to lay off the workers between now and 2016.

Hall said the average worker has been there for more than 20 years. He said many are single mothers. He said it’s tough news to take. He believes state residents should send the company a message.

“If you want to continue to rake in millions of dollars in profits in the state of West Virginia you ought to be willing to take care of 230 long-term employees,” he said.

Rite Aid has 104 stores in West Virginia and a license to operate state liquor establishments in those stores.

Hall said the state Development Office has offered to help Rite Aid find a new location for the distribution center but the company was not cooperative.

 

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Comments

  • David

    The trend is business has no desire to do business in WV thanks to 80 years of democratic abuses.

    If Toyota could leave they would tomorrow.

  • Jim

    The union may have been good in its day. But now a days I do not trust one thing they put out. They have turned in to nothing but a bunch of liberal thugs.

  • Roger

    (Help me out if I am forgetting one)

    The current count of distribution center closures is now up to 3.

    -Rite Aid
    -Coldwater Creek
    -USPS

    Starting to notice a trend here.

  • Independent View

    "...He said the company expressed concerns about health insurance costs, worker attendance and productivity."
    20 years later and worker attendance and productivity are problems? Unbelieveable and if true, it's no surprise that Rite Aid is moving out. Either these are convenient excuses or legitimate reasons. If legitimate reasons why wasn't there some action to correct before the pullout. As a former supervisor, I made this observation years ago: someone can be the best worker yet, if he/she doesn't come to work, they are of no value.
    Next probable step, get Rocky to provide a taxpayer subsidy as he has done so many times for other industries and subsidized flights at Yeager Airport that were unprofitable for the private carriers.

  • The Answer

    The real story here is Rite Aid has mostly full time, top pay rate people who are not retiring or leaving for other jobs.
    This is the only way to rid themselves of this problem so they can hire minimum wage no benefits kids to do their work for them.
    They will soon find out like other major retail chains this is not the way to go..
    Just ask Circuit City how this type of plan worked for them..
    They did the same thing with their warehouse and store employees.
    And they weren't union employees..

  • Mike

    Let's see 230 employees losing job at $50/mo. Union dues is $138,000 year. You would think the Union would have already addressed the attendance and productivity concerns. Just maybe based on the Union's past performance Rite Aid knew they could not trust the Union's "Plan to fix...." Just saying.

  • rick

    So much for Patriotic Capitalism

  • knows

    I went to rite aid last week guess that was my last trip. Im also in another union but not teamsters

  • J Mac

    There is a fresh, fancy new huge building near Parkersburg coming available soon.

    • Fred

      If Coldwater Creek couldn't survive in a brand new building with minimum wage workers, how can Rite Aid make it there with a bunch of overpaid teamsters who call off every Monday and Friday?

  • DWL

    Yea! It's Rite Aid's fault. The UNION is who is costing these people their jobs. Not Rite Aid. Organized crime operating under the guise of a UNION. Wear that UNION label rite out the door ..... Good bye to your jobs. Your union dues paid for the m0r0n in the public housing in DC. How is your vacation going to be? Moochshell's will be terrific I bet.

    • Shawn H

      You hit the nail on the head, DWL. Organized crime is all the unions are.

  • MTMANSTAN

    Union trades such as Boilermakers,Pipefitters, Millwright etc.... are for the most part supereior at their crafts. They need representation to secure steady work, benefits etc....
    Bargaining unit employess are nothing more than that, a bargaining tool for both sides. Your employer pays you to work and you pay the union to protect you from too much work.
    I love how people complain about the BIG corporations and all their greed. Take a drive to Pittsburgh and check out the United Streelworkers most humble abode. Really go check it out, you paid for it. Unions are just as much Big Business as the Big Businesses they are in bed with.

    • WhgFeeling

      I highly appreciate your response. Your comment makes very good sense.

  • Realist

    Ken Hall is absolutely correct; the people of WV should send a message...they should send a message to the unions who keep making companies run from our state. The unions have far to much control and make irrational demands that make operating costs skyrocket because they don't understand simple economics. Not all unions are bad, but unions like the Teamsters Local 175 do not have the best interest of its members in mind and they have run off a business that is important to our state and the people it employs.

  • Low Rider

    Let's see my E-Baby shocked face! The Union accusing the Company of being dishonest. I'm shocked!

  • Marc

    My father has been with Rite Aid warehouse for about 20 or so years. While this has provided a good paying job with even better insurance for many people I am concerned. What I am seeing is that these union workers are currently working without a contract. What this means for the workers is they continue to pay this union $50 per month and have no protection nor help from them. The company has not been up front with the their intentions nor have been willing to compromise with the workers only leaving them with the company in full control of the contract extension either sign it or we shut it down. I leave you with this thought. At what point in time is the accountability of these corporations going to be held to the same standard they are demanding from their employees. Thank you.

    • WhgFeeling

      Whose company is it? What gives the employees or union a right to demand something out of something they DO NOT OWN??

    • WV Common Tater

      No union equals a $50 a month raise. Not bad.

  • Aaron

    Rite Aid has been leaving for years. They pulled this trick before and Rockefeller got a bunch of work done to the lot but not in time to save all the jobs.

    The simple truth is, their workforce is aging at that facility and as such, their labor cost is high. I'm sure that plays into the equation as much as the age of the building.