A labor agreement reached Friday will allow 400 employees at a mail-order-pharmacy facility in Bensalem to keep their jobs. But 500 workers at another Bensalem facility run by the same company, Express Scripts, will be laid off.
Those operations will move to St. Louis, where the company is based. Workers who used to fill, label and ship prescriptions in Bensalem won a severance package in the negotiations that ended last week.
The facility that will remain operating houses the “front-end” operations, where workers enter incoming prescription information into computer systems.
Union president Pam Rogers called the negotiations that led to Friday’s agreement long, hard and tedious.
“It’s kind of a bittersweet thing here,” Rogers said. “We’re saying goodbye to co-workers and yet others are staying.”
Express Scripts executive Larry Zarin said the company needed to lower operating costs at the remaining facility in Bensalem to keep it open. He estimates that before negotiations, costs there were 20 percent to 25 percent above those at similar operations around the country.
“This is the outcome we always wanted. We wanted these people to maintain their jobs and we wanted to maintain a productive facility,” Zarin said, “so we’re pleased with the result.”
Rogers said workers made pay and pension concessions in order to save their jobs.