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Nearly 1,000 Bucks Co. Employees Could Face Lay-Offs

BENSALEM (CBS) — Almost 1000 employees in Bucks County could be out of work in December.

Express Scripts, a prescription processing company with two facilities in Bucks County announced its site on Marshall Lane will be shut down and 365 employees will be laid off when a union contract expires in December. Bipin Patel is one of them.

“So depressed because I have 3 kids and losing this job is very hard on us,” Patel said.

625 employees work at the Street Road site and their future is still up in the air.

Jackie Dixon works as a data analyst technician at the Street Road site and told Eyewitness News, “It’s frightening for a lot of people because everybody is living on edge not knowing when we’re going to get the ax next.”

To ease the nerves of union members and devise a plan to keep jobs and families in Buck County, the Service Employees International Union Local 1199 leaders hosted an informational meeting.

“They were seeking $8.8 million in concessions,” Lead negotiator, Stephanie Haynes, told members.

The union offered to make $8 million in concessions but the company rejected that proposal.

“They would not accept our concessions. It’s not the case of we’re not willing to help out, we were willing to give into at least some of their things,” Lidia Kosyk explained.

Kosyk is a pharmacist for Express Script on Street Road. She’s been with the company for 11 years and now she’s disappointed and disheartened, she could be let go in December.

“I have 3 boys. One is in college. One is going to college next year. It’s going to be real tough but I’m doing what’s right. What I feel is right,” Kosyk said.

The meeting ran about an hour. The purpose, according to union members, was to keep both Marshall Lane and Street Road plants open. Elected officials were on hand to show their support and offered to help in any way they can.

Union leaders called the company’s decision “short-sighted” and also announced that plans are being made to make it more “expensive” for Express Scripts to close both Bensalem sites.

Thom Gross with Express Scripts said in an email:

“Our decision to close the dispensing pharmacy in Bensalem was the result of the continued overcapacity in our system and the opportunity to utilize updated technology available at other Express Scripts facilities. The facility will close on Dec. 16 after the expiration of the current collective bargaining agreement. This was a very tough decision for us but necessary for business reasons. We have requested negotiations with the union regarding severance benefits for employees impacted by this closing.

Negotiations continue with the union regarding the future of operations at our other Bensalem facility, which handles front-end prescription processing on Street Road. Because of our recent acquisition and advances in our technology, we have extra capacity in our system. The high-tech equipment at our St. Louis and Tempe pharmacies is more advanced, efficient or better suited than the older equipment at Bensalem.

Last year, we discussed an expansion of the Bensalem workforce, an entirely new, state-of-the-art facility, and wages and benefits that were highly competitive. Unfortunately we were unable to reach an agreement with the union. We selected St. Louis as the location that best meets our long-term needs for the business and our employees.”

Reported By Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3

  • anonymous

    ESI will do just fine. All that matters is that Wall Street Likes them. And they are in good company with other greedy companies. What’s worse, yesterday’s election only supports this greedy business climate. We will see much more of the same.

  • Dan

    This link below tells the story oh so well about how Express Scripts (ESI) is kilingl Jobs in Bensalem Pa for the almighty $$$$. One thing the article missed, was ESI is also out sourcing jobs to the Philippines & India. So workers in Minnesota & Mason OH will also be losing their jobs too. It’s time to say NO MORE CORPORATE GREED and OUT SOURCING American jobs at American Families expense. BTW, do you want your medical Records being sent overseas?

  • Dan

    Contact CEO, George PAz, and tell him know there is no reason to close does the Bensalem location. Corprate GREED will no longer be tolorated

  • Z

    Cheeky quote I can not believe how much guts and can take this company Express Script!!
    After they said it would close its plant in Bensalem longer have the courage to ask these poor workers to donate food for the poor. How much profit they made this year?! I can only call them GREEDY!!

  • Anonymous

    Cheeky quote I can not believe how much guts and can take this company Express Script!!
    After they said it would close its plant in Bensalem longer have the courage to ask these poor workers to donate food for the poor. How much profit they made this year?! I can only call them greedy!!!

  • Snacky Smores

    I think both are to blame as well. ESI has never been a very generous company, but when ESI first took over DPS and ValueRx, forcing them to play nice together, it didn’t work out very well at first.

    DPS did things to get the job done. ValueRx did things…. that were in their union contract only. So, the brunt of customer complaints fell back on the call center for union folks going, “Not my job,” instead of helping out.

    And regardless of how the unions spin it, they’re no different than ESI, hierarchically. The peons give in to the union; the top people manage to use the funds in inappropriate ways (or make sure their family members are helped first). I’ve heard the stories from within ESI itself. Let’s not pretend the union isn’t evil either here…

  • N

    From working for Express Scripts at Street Road for about 2 years (not very long compared to most other employees), I could say that both the union and company itself are at fault. When I first came to this company in 2008, it was something that was very great after being unemployed 2 years prior from another health care company. The benefits and schedule were fantastic for the pay offered, which was $10 an hour for data entry. Only when the company switched to this current union in about late 2009 was when everything seemed to go south. Everyone from the college students who worked there part time to the older employees became more antsy, etc. and there was more anxiety than I have ever seen from a workplace. I am relatively young (25), but have had experience with other unions in prior jobs. They were pretty neat and not as aggressive as the one I am currently a part of. The one upside of this entire situation at Bensalem is that it does bring how this company operates in a public light.

  • S

    Hi sister I don’t know who you are but you can’t tell Ms Thom Gross to go to hell because his place is there and take George Paz whit him these 2 evil individuals don’t deserve to be respected .I hope from the bottom of my hart this Co. Express Script go down .Clients,patients and physicians need to know how dirty they are + there business is a big lie.

  • Elizabeth

    Hello Joy.. After you posted your concern.. I received an email from Mr. Gross with Express Scripts and he wrote me the following response:

    “We expect this transition to be seamless for clients and patients, and no action is necessary on their parts. Patients and physicians will continue to send their prescriptions in as they do today to the same P.O. Box or fax number.”


    • Dan

      Joy, despite what the company told Elizabeth Express Scripts will not be able to handle the work with only 2 High Volume Fillers, so Patients meds most likely will be delayed. The New location in St Louis can only do 110K scripts per day when it’s fully up and running, and that takes about 2 years.. Bensalem now does 75K now, and has done as much as 90+k. Tempe can do 80K a day, they do 62K now, and most of that is Dept. of Defense work. So do the math, ESI stated our work will go to ST. Louis, if you move out 75K and add it to the 33k they do now that puts them at 108K a day. only giving them 2K more a day they can do. ESI has stated that they have 141 new clients coming on 1/12, with 3 of them being big acct. (Fed EX one of them). So simple math tells us they have no room for growth now or in the future with Bensalem shut down. Also, what happens if there is an emergency at one of the 2 remaining locations. Express Scripts is putting it’s.Patients, and Clients at risk of delays it getting life saving meds. Call the CEO, George Paz at 314-996-0900 and tell him you want the Bensalem location to stay open, We cannot afford to put over 1000 people on the unemployment rolls, and risk Patients safety as well.

      • Dan

        Sorry the new clients are coming on Jan.2011 not 2012. Sorry for the typo.

  • The Bobster

    They’ll outsource the jobs to India. Are you enjoying that TV show yet?

  • Dan

    With all the money this company has made so far this year, and on the OCT 27th they will report even higher profits, can someone tell me why they are closing the Bensalem PA location.
    We found ESI 8 million is saving even though they make 3.5 million in profits a day the CEO, George Paz got a 12 million dollar bonus, and ESI is projected to make 2 BILLION this year (not a typo BILLION) and they want 8.8 million in give backs. So for 800K Express scripts is going to put 950+ of it’s most seasoned employees on the unemployment line. Bensalem does over 40% of the work, and has bailed out the company and the other 2 locations many times when they could not get the work out in time, Saving ESI the fines that are imposed for not getting the meds to the members in time, saving them even MORE money

  • mareirish

    anon and outta work tomorrow —

    I cannot believe the total ignorance. Haven’t you ever believed something was right and then stood up and fought for it? It doesn’t sound like it.
    I’m sick and tired of hearing “at least they have a job”!! In this country where corporations rule and the people at the top make millions while the rest of us struggle, I want a good job! We shouldn’t just be thankful that we have jobs, we should demand to have GOOD jobs. Why is it wrong for union members to fight for high standards if their company is as profitable as Express Scripts?? It’s not wrong!! It would be a totally different story if the company was struggling and on the brink of bankruptcy, but they’re so far from it!!
    By the way, those union members have made $8million dollars in concessions…why isn’t that enough for the company? Greed.

    • c

      There are people losing their jobs and in this day and age we don’t need any more jobs lost so what if they are union how much are we going to be paying these people if they close the 2 locations in bensalem? How much more in taxes are we going to pay out? How many of these people will lose their home cars and familys. Break up if this happens? Some of you people just don’t see the trickle down affect do you?

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  • ica

    this is a mesaj for all us pleople
    espress script dont care about nothing is veri hard to bealive they care about people’s live!!!! the only thing what express script care is HOW TO MAKE MOORE MONY!!!!!!!!

  • Tom

    SEIU gave 60 million dollars to Presidents campaign in 2008.

    • Dan

      What are you smoking.. Union dues by law CANNOT be used for politics. That is what PAC money is for, that employees contribute to this as a voluntary deduction to be use for politics so they can have a voice in DC, and Harrisburg. Do you know how much ESI give to lobbyist to get republican politicians to vote to get them larger tax breaks, so they can move jobs overseas.

  • outta work tomorrow

    padaddy These are not coal miners. Half of these people are professional pharmacists making big bucks. You have no idea what you are talking about. These morons asked for a 10 …yes TEN year guarantee of employment. They wouldn’t back down from a fully funded medical plan to which they contribute nothing and accept a BCBS medical plan that 15000 other company employees have. They also want a fully funded pension..not a 401k like everyone else, which by the way is matched 2-1 by the company. Their greed has cost 1000 people their jobs. SEIU are job killers. So be quiet unless you know what you are talking about.

    • Dan

      You are wrong, 600 workers are not Pharmacists They make between $8 and $15 dollars an hour. We gave up the pension, offered to pay $100 a month for non Pharmacist , and $200 a month for pharmacist into the health insurance. We also gave up the Short term Disability, freeze wages for 2 years and the RPh are willing to give back the 3.5% raise they got in Match, In return for all these concessions we are asking for job security. I don’t think that is much to ask of a company making 3.5 million a day in the recession. OH don’t forget the CEO got a 12 million dollar bonus.

  • padaddy

    I love how people now blame unions for job losses. People forget where they came from. Give me 1 minute with anyone and Ill show them how Unions t helped their family along the way get where they are today. they are toda..
    People said the same about unions before the unions built this great country. Now the off spring of that generation wants to kill unions. s

  • anon

    Another union-based layoff. The unions want too much in a recession. You can’t get blood from a stone. I bet the other locations are non-union or their unions are more realistic.

    Unions have gotten too greedy and dont care about their members. I bet these people would be willing to take a cut in order to stay employed.

    • HopeThatYourJobIsNext

      Errr . . .

      Divide 8.8 million dollars by the 625 employees (according to the article). That comes to Express Scripts taking MORE THAN $10,000 from each family whose father/mother works there.

      This is while the company reported $650 MILLION in PROFITS for the first 6 months of 2010.

      While he was demanding more than $10,000 in kickbacks from each of the people whose work actually makes the money for the company – the CEO of Express Scripts (Mr. Paz) was paid 20 MILLION DOLLARS last year!

      And now he demands MORE, and he thinks that the people doing the work deserve LESS.

      And you think that UNIONS are greedy ? ? ? ! ! !

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