Stop & Shop workers on strike after failing to negotiate contract

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Stop & Shop workers across the state are getting ready for day two for the fight for their benefits. 

Stop & Shop workers walked off the job Thursday afternoon after failing to reach a contract agreement. 

The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) says that the Locals 371 and 919 members who work at Stop & Shop are walking off their job. 

Related: Stop & Shop works to hold rally over contract negotiations

At the same time, UFCW Locals 328, 1445, and 1459 will be walking off their jobs at Stop & Shop stores in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

The UFCW says that they are representing 31,000 Stop & Shop workers in New England who have been negotiating a new contract with Stop & Shop representatives since February 14th. 

Related: All 5 New England Stop & Shop unions vote to authorize potential strike

According to UFCW, Stop & Shop’s parent company, Ahold Delhaize, saw over $2 billion in profit last year and got a US tax cut of $225 million in 2017. They say that the company is claiming the proposed cuts are necessary but is refusing to provide financial information to verify that claim. 

They added that Stop & Shop is proposing to cut worker benefits. 

Meanwhile, Stop & Shop said it proposed an offer to union locals that included:

  • Across-the-board pay increases for all associates
  • Continued “Gold Level” health care benefits for eligible associates
  • Increased company contributions to the UFCW’s defined benefit pension fund for current full- and vested part-time associates

The company also said it “…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.”

Stop & Shop also claims “…the unions proposed a contract that would increase the company’s costs.”

In response to the walk offs, Stop & Shop said in a statement, in part, “We are working to minimize disruptions for our customers and have deployed Stop & Shop corporate personnel as well as temporary replacement workers to our stores.”

The comapny said it “…remains ready and available to meet with the union locals at any time.”

A union representative said that 249 stores in New England are affected. All 92 Connecticut stores are affected.

People’s United Bank, which has some in-store branch locations, released the following statement:

People’s United Bank Stop & Shop branch locations will continue to operate as usual for the duration of this strike, to the extent possible. Customer and employee safety is our first priority and we will continue to provide service with as minimal disruption as possible. We hope there is a quick and amicable resolution to the matter for both parties involved.

The Pharmacy and the self checkout lanes are still open as well. Some stores have reduced their hours.

Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Attorney General William Tong were set to protest with the workers at two store locations.

Read the confidential memo that Stop & Shop sent its workers here:

WEB EXTRA: Hamden Stop & Shop workers walk off the job at Hamden location

WEB EXTRA: The effect on Stop & Shop customers during strike

WEB EXTRA: Stop & Shop workers walk off the job around Connecticut

WEB EXTRA: News 8 was live at a Stop & Shop strike in Hamden

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