Express Scripts will close a second Bensalem facility on Feb. 1 following a union rejection of the company’s final contract offer to employees at the mail order pharmacy.
Added to a Dec. 16 closing of another prescription-processing plant in Bensalem, the second shutdown means Express Scripts has shed 992 jobs in Pennsylvania.
For eight months in 2010, the company had sought wage concessions from the union, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
In announcing the closings, the company noted that labor costs at the Bensalem facilities were the highest in the company’s system. Express Scripts cited declining business, better technology at other plants and the union’s intransigence as reasons for closing the Bensalem facilities.
SEIU officials accused the company of bargaining in bad faith. It said Express Scripts was attempting to wrangle concessions from workers despite earning $1.7 million in profits last year.
The union has filed an emergency unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). If an NLRB investigation substantiates the charge, the union could pursue an injunction that would keep the facilities open.