POCA, W.Va. — Teamsters Local 175 said Monday it is developing a strategy┬áin 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Rite Aid said the building housing the distribution center is old and outdated and it would cost too much to bring it up to date.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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  • Voter

    This reminds me of the old Charleston Linen on the west side of Charleston. Back in 1992 the union employees, union and company were in talks to renew their contract. The union got greedy, the company couldn't afford to keep the place open. They shut the plant down and moved everything to the non-union plant in Huntington. I believe Ken Hall was Teamster's President then too. The union did nothing to help the employees and some had been there 25 years.

  • Todd

    This isn't about the unions. This is about the terrible business climate in West Virginia. We have high taxes, a bad business climate, failing schools and a workforce that loves to lay at home on workers compensation. Oh yeah and I failed to mention the crumbling infrastructure, such as tainted water and pothole riddled roads. Can't blame Rite Aid at all for their decision. I am sorry for the employees and their families. They are paying the price for poor leadership in this state.

  • George

    Thanks to Ronald Reagan, organized labor has no power so we work part time with little benefits with the term "restructuring" being a common term..""..

    • Todd

      Haha George when you don't have an answer blame a republican. Time to update your playbook. That argument makes you look foolish.

  • George

    Thanks to Ronald Reagan, there is no power in organized labor anymore"..and now we work part time with little benefits and "restructuring is a common term"......".

  • mook

    The only company's staying here are the ones who have lobbyist in the capital. gas,oil ,chemicals,electrical and anyone else who slips a few dollars to the pockets of the right people.We need gas, water, electic$$$$$$!!


    This is just one more hit from the destructive plan Obama has set in place to destroy this country no jobs equal helpless people who are at the government's mercy. when he took office there were to be more jobs but it's been the other way jobs going down the tubes at a high rate. if you could look into this you would see that this kind of job losses are right from the office in Washington!!!

  • 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

    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