31,000 Stop & Shop Workers on Strike in New England
04/17/2019 - On Apr. 11, nearly 31,000 workers at over 240 Stop & Shop grocery stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut walked out, beginning a strike that stretched into an eighth day on Thursday. The workers, unionized under five New England-based locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), began the strike after months of negotiations with Stop & Shop reached an impasse and the collective bargaining agreement expired on Feb. 23.
The strike is the largest private-sector work stoppage in the United States since 2016’s Verizon strike by members of the Communications Workers of America.
During negotiations, Stop & Shop presented the UFCW negotiators with an unacceptable proposal that included the elimination of Sunday and holiday pay for part-time workers, an increase in weekly premium costs for employee-only health coverage of up to 90 percent over three years, and the doubling of health care out-of-pocket limits for many employees.
Stop & Shop’s meager offer of a 50 cents-per-hour wage increase would not begin to cover the steep rises in these health care costs.
Stop & Shop, the largest grocery chain in New England, is owned by Belgian retail conglomerate Ahold Delhaize, which reported over $2 billion in profit in 2018.
“The APWU stands with Stop & Shop workers in their demand for good pay and quality health care,” said APWU President Dimondstein. “It is obscene that a company making billions in profits is trying to shift healthcare costs onto the backs of the workers.
As workers remain on strike, supporters are asked to sign UFCW’s petition, donate food to strikers, and join workers on the picket line. APWU members are encouraged to honor the picket line and refrain from grocery shopping at Stop & Shop while the strike is ongoing.
Members and supporters who want to donate to the strike effort can donate to the strike fund online, or send a check payable to the UFCW Members’ Assistance Fund to the below address:UFCW Office of the Secretary-Treasurer 1775 K Street, NW Washington, DC 20006
4/22/19 update: Workers returned to Stop & Shop stores on Monday, April 22, following a tentative agreement. UFCW members will vote on the agreement in the coming days.