New England Stop & Shop Employees Vote to Authorize Strike
NEW ENGLAND - Five UFCW local chapters throughout the Northeast are currently negotiating contracts with Stop & Shop. This week, one chapter, Local 1445, voted unanimously to approve a labor strike.
This Friday, the retailer issued the following updates on the status of negotiation.
“We are working hard to reach strong new contracts that ensure that Stop & Shop continues to be a great place to work...” the retailer noted. “Stop & Shop has committed up to $2 billion to upgrade our stores over the next several years to better serve our customers and communities as we also lower prices and expand opportunities for our associates.”
Stop & Shop continued: “The current three-year contracts with UFCW locals in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island expire on February 23. However, contract negotiations may extend beyond the expiration date. We are proud of our relationship with our associates and optimistic that we will be able to reach a new agreement. We are continuing to negotiate in good faith and remain committed to reaching a resolution as quickly as possible.”
The following day, the UFCW Local 1445 held a meeting and a strike authorization vote.
“Today, February 24, at Lombardo's in Randolph, Local 1445 held a meeting for Stop & Shop members. Almost a thousand members attended and all voted unanimously TO STRIKE!” Local 1445 announced on its website.
In total, the UFCW represents more than 8,000 Stop & Shop employees throughout Massachusetts. The labor union’s last contracts with Stop & Shop expired Saturday night, according to a report from local news source South Coast Today.
Though the union has voted to authorize a strike, no timetable has yet been set for the strike itself, which would still have to be authorized by a union committee.
Following news of the Local 1445’s vote, Stop & Shop issued a statement noting its commitment to reaching a mutually amicable resolution and noting, “We are proud of our relationship with our associates and optimistic that we will be able to reach a new agreement.”
“We understand that the members of one of the five union locals have voted to authorize a strike, although this does not necessarily mean the union actually will initiate a strike...” the company stated. “Full-time Stop & Shop associates are among the highest paid food retail workers in the region, and we are working hard to reach strong new contracts that will continue to provide Stop & Shop associates with competitive wages and affordable health care for eligible associates...”
For more on Stop & Shop and the UFCW’s negotiations, check in with AndNowUKnow for updates.