(CTN News) – Another round of walkouts by CVS pharmacists hobbled pharmacy services in Kansas City’s Northland on Wednesday.
As a result of last week’s walkout at CVS locations inside Kansas Target stores, members of CVS Corporate were in town for the action.
The pharmacists, hesitant to share their names publicly out of fear of retaliation, said they are overworked in their jobs.
The same patients were also affected on Wednesday, telling FOX4 they mainly want prescription filling to be a smooth process.
According to pharmacists who walked out of Northland locations, customers were instructed to use the drive-thru.
As FOX4 stopped at various locations, there were mostly cages around the pharmacy sections.
Customers stood patiently in a growing line at the CVS on North Oak Trafficway, unable to receive assistance inside.
“The gates have been closed. When I was sitting in the drive-thru, I noticed that,” Nancy York said.
It is likely that they become overwhelmed. Currently, there are only two of them working, so I have to wait two hours,” York said.
“I cannot reach anyone when I call. It’s the same with all pharmacies, I think,” said Tammy Wilson, another customer.
There has been a prolonged conflict that led to the walkout. Pharmacy staff members claim that the company has cut hours and staffing, resulting in more responsibilities for fewer employees.
The growing demand for vaccinations – more than 100 appointments in one day in some cases – has led to this action, according to pharmacies.
CVS president Prem Shah, who wrote that he is in Kansas City, apologized to employees and promised to provide extra support.
“We will remain in Kansas City until the market needs are met. Then, I intend to return every month until we have developed a sustainable plan of action for this region,” Shah stated in the memo.
Conflict continued on Wednesday. One patient at the CVS on N.E. Barry Road reported seeing the pharmacy close at midday.
“CVS has been nothing but problematic for me,” he said.
“This just proves that employees, even if they are not union members, will get sick of putting up with all of this stuff,” he said.
The CVS store on N.E. Virion Road had a cab driver checking on a prescription for an older passenger.
Finding a locked pharmacy, he is short on time and deeply concerned.
“Because he needs his medicine, don’t you know? He was instructed by the doctors to pick up the medication. “We went yesterday, and they told us that it would not be ready until tomorrow.” he said.
There was a lock on the pharmacy. The drive-thru was also occupied. “There were a lot of people over there,” he said.
CVS’ president made a few commitments to pharmacists in the internal memo, including adjusting schedules and hiring more employees.