More than 200 New York pharmacists have said they will not be paid until the end of the year after union leaders said the union’s refusal to pay wages and benefits amounts to a strike.
The pharmacy workers, who are part of the American Pharmacists Association Local 226, are demanding a pay raise and other benefits, including vacation time, as well as other protections in negotiations with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.
The union has rejected the offer, saying the workers would not be compensated and are not eligible for collective bargaining.
The pharmacy union has also refused to negotiate with the city’s health department.
The workers have been out of work for more than three weeks, but their strike has intensified this week, forcing thousands of New Yorkers to travel hundreds of miles.
The workers are demanding the union pay them at least $10.50 per hour, and an increase to $11.50 an hour.
The city’s healthcare department has not responded to a request for comment.
The health department said the workers are eligible for workers’ compensation.
The strike is the latest in a long string of strikes that have affected the city.
Last week, a contract dispute over overtime was resolved, but some pharmacists were not paid.
The state is trying to resolve the dispute with an arbitration panel, but that could take weeks.