The community is speaking out against multi-billion dollar corporation Express Scripts for its announcement that it plans to close the Bucks County facility and put over 200 people out of work, and are urging them to reconsider.
“Across the country we are hearing ‘we need more jobs, more job creators, we need to keep jobs here’” said Gail Wharfe, who has worked at the company for 11 years. “And here’s a company worth billions cutting jobs. Where’s their commitment?”
“Express Scripts has earned a lot of union-facility clients because they tout themselves as being union-friendly,” continued Jackie Dixon, who has worked there for 13 years. “Now they want to get rid of more union jobs. That certainly doesn’t seem very union-friendly.”
The pharmacy benefit management firm posted over $100 billion in revenue in 2016 and $3.4 billion in profit – an increase of 37% over 2015. Their CEO, Timothy Wentworth, made $14.5 million.
“I am angered by this announcement,” said Representative Gene DiGirolamo, of PA’s 18th district. “I will be reaching out to Express Scripts corporate and my office will follow this situation very closely. When a multi-billion dollar corporation posting enormous profits shuts down a facility and puts hardworking Pennsylvanians out of work just to make even more money, that’s greed, plain and simple. A company’s success is built on the work of its employees – this is no way to treat them. As an elected leader, it’s my job to stand up for the people I represent, and I invite my colleagues will also speak out against companies who want to hoard their success instead of building up Pennsylvania.”
Workers in the Bucks County facility say their productivity was not at issue and corporate called it a “business decision.” But the widening gap between the wealthiest Americans and the middle class is a serious, troubling trend that is destroying the middle class and shows no signs of slowing down.
Since the 1990s the immense wealth of the top 1% has been growing rapidly while those on the bottom fell. In the 1970s, the top 1% of Americans earned just over 10% of all U.S. income.Today the top 1% take home more than 20% of all U.S. income: (source)
“We understand the business of making money,” Dixon continued. “But when you have a productive site, and the people who work there have built the foundation of what made you successful – helped you make those billions of dollars – and you tell them they are ‘no longer necessary,’ that is insulting and painful.”
The loss would also hurt the community and countless families who have counted on the generosity of Express Scripts employees, including a food pantry they provide to help struggling families in Bucks County, hundreds of backpacks they provide to low income kids in Philadelphia, thousands of pounds of pet food donated to a local no-kill shelter, and thousands of dollars they raise for breast cancer research.
“There’s a family in the next county over who has a child with a heart condition, and they really struggle financially,” says Wharfe. “Every year we make sure that family has Christmas. We’re worried about them. We give so much back to our community and it’s heartbreaking because we don’t know if we’ll be able to help the people who count on us.”