Strike Continues For Stop & Shop Workers Over Failed Contract Negotiations
Members of UFCW Local 919 and UFCW Local 371 AFL-CIO went on strike at the Stop & Shop in Sand Hill Plaza on Thursday, April 11, after contract negotiations failed. According to stopandshop.com, “The current, three-year contracts with the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Locals in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island expired on February 23, 2019.” Formal negotiations between Stop & Shop and the five UFCW Locals began January 14, 2019. Strikers locally remained on site on the morning of April 12.
The following statement was posted at the Stop & Shop website on April 11:
“Given that negotiations with assistance of the federal mediators are continuing, we are disappointed that the UFCW chose to order a work stoppage in an attempt to disrupt service at our stores. Stop & Shop has contingency plans in place to minimize disruption.
“Stop & Shop has proposed a good and reasonable offer to our union locals that includes:
“*Across-the-board pay increases for all associates — no one’s pay would be cut;
“*Continued ‘Gold Level’ healthcare benefits for eligible associates — at a fraction of what employees at other retail companies pay and with no changes to already unusually low deductibles; and
“*Increased company contributions to the UFCW’s defined benefit pension fund for current full- and vested part-time associates — a rare benefit in the New England food retail industry.
“Additionally, this morning the company made several suggestions to the federal mediators to encourage further bargaining. The mediators gave those proposals to the Locals late in the morning. The Locals provided no counter proposals to the mediators and simply stated they were proceeding with their plans.
“In contrast to the company’s proposal, which is better than most recent UFCW contract settlements and responsive to heavy non-union competition, the unions proposed a contract that would increase the company’s costs. This would make our company less competitive in the mostly non-union New England food retail marketplace.
“Stop & Shop remains ready and available to meet with the union locals at any time. We are committed to good faith bargaining and hope to reach new contracts as quickly as possible that both recognize and reward the great work of our associates and enable Stop & Shop to compete effectively in the rapidly changing New England grocery market.”
According to a customer representative at the Sand Hill Plaza store, 228 South Main Street, on Friday morning, April 12, the store remains open for business until 8 pm today, an early closing; only service departments within the store are not available to customers. The Stop & Shop Pharmacy is open, and the hours of People’s United Bank, located within the store, are not affected.
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