Union workers approve close-out agreement with Rite Aid

POCA, W.Va. — The Rite Aid distribution center in Poca is going to stay open about 18 months longer than originally announced following a new labor deal between the company and Teamsters Union.

South Charleston-based Teamsters Local 175 approved the deal over the weekend that will keep the warehouse open until Nov. 2017 but layoffs will begin this summer.

The first round of furloughs is set for July 5 when 30 to 80 workers will lose their jobs. The workers falling under the longer agreement will be guaranteed 40 hours a week. The union said keeping the distribution center open longer will give more longtime employees an opportunity to reach retirement age.

Rite Aid announced earlier this year the Poca closure along with non-union distribution facilities in North Carolina and Alabama. The company plans to build a regional warehouse. The new union agreement says the Poca location would stay open if the other two facilities are not closed.

West Virginia workers will get pay raises and keep the health insurance under the new agreement. Those who lose their jobs both this year and in 2017 will get what the union describes as a significant severance package.

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