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Calling all wet-lab scientists

affinis's picture


Dear John Ballbach and Ed Borger,

I'm a scientist at University of Wisconsin - Madison, and have been purchasing scientific supplies from VWR for years. I just heard about your union busting plan - to close VWR's Brisbane CA facility and move operations to Visalia (to be run as a non-union facility).

At this point, I plan to boycott VWR in purchasing scientific supplies for our lab, until and unless VWR reverses its plan (there are alternate suppliers available for almost all your products).



I just sent off the e-mail above and would like to encourage any scientists who feel likewise to express a similar decision. And if you wish to spread word of this, so much the better.

VWR snail-mail address:
John M. Ballbach, CEO
Ed Borger, VP Operations

VWR International, LLC
Radnor Corporate Center
100 Matsonville Rd.
Radnor, PA 19087

For more information see here, here, here, here, and here.
It's worth noting that VWR plans to fund the facility move in part by using federal and state tax credits intended as an incentive to hire new workers.
Thanks to DCblogger for alerting me to this.

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RanDomino's picture
Submitted by RanDomino on

omg someone actually understands how solidarity works... I feel like Diogenes with his lantern never felt.

Submitted by hipparchia on

has anyone checked to see if other scientific suppliers are as bad as vwr?

affinis's picture
Submitted by affinis on

But I'll note that in this instance, the union representing the affected workers is actively seeking public assistance in its stuggle. And VWR's recent behavior (regarding severence pay, transfer rights, etc.) does appears rather more recalcitrant than average (even among major supply houses). e.g.
"Since the move came to light, VWR has refused to meet with Brisbane officials and union representatives to discuss alternatives that would enable the company to continue to employ Teamster members. Further, they are not offering employees transfer rights to the new facility, a fair severance package, or neutrality for organizing rights."
And in Illinois "VWR has refused to reach an agreement with the workers at VWR's Batavia warehouse after more than five years of negotiations."

Moreover, there are a lot of scientific/medical supply companies out there(such that multiple fairly comparably priced vendors exist for most products, especially labware), and some are better than others (note: CSRHub, which I linked here, is a crude instrument, but there are many other detailed sources of info on labor relations, environmental practices, etc. for different potential vendors).

Submitted by hipparchia on

in this instance, the union representing the affected workers is actively seeking public assistance in its struggle.

good for them! i really liked dealing with vwr back in the day and am more than happy to do what little i can for the workers. i'd just hate to call for a boycott of one bad actor and accidentally urge everyone to buy from other all the other bad actors instead. thanks for the links.