Labor Dispute Hits CVS and Walgreens

By Patricia Miller


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A worker walkout at CVS and Walgreens poses investment questions. Learn more about potential impacts on retail investors.

CVS Pharmacy logo on smartphone screen on wooden table background.
Photo by Marques Thomas on Unsplash

TL;DR: What You Need to Know

Employees from CVS Health and Walgreens in the United States initiated a three-day walkout, dubbed "Pharmageddon", to demand improved working conditions and more staffing in their stores. The walkout, largely organized through social media, led to the temporary closure of some stores in New York City.

It is estimated that up to 5,000 pharmacy workers participated, although exact numbers and affected stores were unclear due to the absence of a union. Among the issues raised were gross understaffing, where employees have to handle not only prescriptions but also appointments and walk-ins for immunizations. The organizers also called for better pay and more consistent hours for technicians who assist pharmacists.

Large pharmacy companies have faced criticism for not employing sufficient pharmacists and technicians, leading to overworked staff. This walkout reflects a trend of workers organizing independently without traditional unions.

Why Is This Important to Retail Investors?

  1. Stock Price Volatility: Retail investors holding CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance stocks may experience increased price volatility during the "Pharmageddon" walkout. Sudden stock price fluctuations can impact the value of their investments.

  2. Labor Relations and Costs: The walkout highlights labor-related issues within these pharmacy chains, such as staffing shortages and employee demands for better pay and working conditions. Retail investors should monitor how these labor disputes are resolved, as they can affect the companies' operational costs and long-term profitability.

  3. Customer Impact: Store closures and disruptions caused by the walkout can potentially affect customer satisfaction and store revenues. Retail investors should consider how these events may impact the financial health of CVS and Walgreens and their ability to attract and retain customers.

  4. Trend in Independent Labor Movements: The walkout reflects a broader trend of employees organizing independently without traditional unions. Retail investors should recognize this shift in labor dynamics and its potential implications for the companies' future labor-related challenges and costs.

  5. Competitive Position: Investors should assess how CVS and Walgreens respond to employee demands and labor issues compared to their competitors. Effective management of labor relations can be a competitive advantage, while mishandling such situations may lead to negative consequences for the companies' market positions.

How Can You Use This Information?

Here are some of the investing ideas that can be explored using this information:

Value Investing

Retail investors interested in value investing may consider monitoring CVS Health (CVS.N) and Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA.O) for potential entry points. Labor disputes and negative sentiment resulting from the walkout could lead to temporary declines in stock prices, creating value-oriented buying opportunities if the companies' fundamentals remain strong.

Long-Term Growth

Investors with a long-term perspective may focus on the actions taken by CVS and Walgreens to address labor-related issues. If the companies successfully improve working conditions and retain skilled employees, it could contribute to long-term growth and stability in their stocks.

Momentum Trading

Momentum traders may take advantage of short-term price movements driven by the walkout and subsequent news developments. They can consider technical analysis and market sentiment indicators to identify potential short-term trading opportunities.

Dividend Investing

CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance are known for paying dividends. Dividend-focused investors may assess the impact of the walkout on the companies' ability to maintain or grow their dividend payouts. A resolution to labor issues and improved financial performance could be positive signals for dividend investors.

Risk Management

Regardless of the investment strategy, risk management is crucial. Retail investors should diversify their portfolios to spread risk and consider setting stop-loss orders to limit potential losses in case of adverse price movements in CVS and Walgreens stocks.

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In this article:

Author: Patricia Miller

This article does not provide any financial advice and is not a recommendation to deal in any securities or product. Investments may fall in value and an investor may lose some or all of their investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

Patricia Miller does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Patricia Miller has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of, does not hold a position or positions in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the above article.

Digitonic Ltd, the owner of, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

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