McKesson is shutting down its south Everett facility. (Noah Haglund / The Herald)

McKesson is shutting down its south Everett facility. (Noah Haglund / The Herald)

Drug distributor readies to close Everett facility

Dozens of workers will lose jobs as McKesson moves operations to a new location in Puyallup.

EVERETT — A drug-distribution company is shutting down a south Everett facility as it shifts operations to a new building in Puyallup.

Of the 67 affected union workers at McKesson, most stand to lose their jobs effective June 7, according to a letter the San Francisco-based company sent to Washington state employment officials. McKesson notified the workers about the change more than a year ago, company and union representatives confirmed.

“After a thorough review, we determined that our current space in Everett could not accommodate the technology upgrades that need to be made to best serve our customers and their patients,” April Marks, a company spokesperson, wrote in a prepared statement. “The new building will be custom built with our newest technology and processes. The decision to close the facility was a difficult one because we know it will have a significant impact on the team in Everett.”

The site is at 710 132nd St. SW, near the Mariner Park & Ride.

Along with Purdue Pharma, McKesson has been named as a defendant in lawsuits over the opioid crisis, including the federal cases filed by Snohomish County and Everett. There’s no apparent link between those cases and the decision to move from Everett to the south sound.

Most of the affected workers are shipping-receiving clerks or warehouse workers. They belong to Teamsters Local No. 38, which negotiated a severance package. Some of the employees had worked there for decades.

“They were told that they could reapply, but they would have to re-apply as new employees,” said Michael Raughter, a union organizer who used to work for McKesson. “When they move down, they’re going to be non-union. Hopefully they’ll be able to re-organize.”

Workforce Snohomish is preparing to help former McKesson employees find new jobs and connect with support services during their search. The workforce development council coordinates with unions, community colleges and other partners. The organization has assisted large numbers of workers after layoffs at Kimberly-Clark, the Boeing Co. and other companies.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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