Pharmacists win recognition at Boots

Pharmacists working at Boots have voted by 92.4% in favour of being represented by the PDAU at work.

The ballot was announced late last night by the Central Arbitration Committee and means the independent union will reach a recognition agreement with the company. It’s been a long journey for the PDAU, which had first to ballot workers to derecognise the firm’s staff association, the Boots Pharmacists Association – a vote they won by securing just 70 votes more than the minimum to get over the 40% threshold.

There was no problem this time, with the threshold easily reached with a turnout of 47% – 3,229 votes (92.4%) in favour of the trade union, with only 226 votes (7.6%) supporting the senior management’s proposal.

PDAU assistant general secretary Mark Pitt said: “We mustn’t forget that every single day over the last 8 years the company have had the ability to voluntarily recognise the PDAU, but every single day they decided to keep fighting their own employees.  As a result of this behaviour Boots will now be forced to recognise their employees’ choice of union.

“Despite the clear message from pharmacists in the 2018 ballot, where 87% voted in favour of removing the BPA to allow PDAU recognition, the company continued to use everything it could to stop pharmacists securing an independent voice at work until now.

“Three senior managers became the faces of the 2019 management anti-union strategy; they risked their personal and professional credibility by running a negative campaign.  They not only lost, but this result shows support for the PDAU has grown as this process has continued.”

PDAU general secretary John Murphy has written to Boots head Seb James, inviting him to create a new, positive chapter in employee relations at the company.

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