According to representatives from United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 328, union employees at Stop & Shop have officially gone on strike.
The Local 328 union, who represents Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts, issued the following comments on April 6th.
“Despite some slight progress being made during contract negotiations, the company is still proposing unreasonable cuts that could impact us all.
Stop & Shop is trying to eliminate time-and-a-half pay for a large number of workers who have volunteered to work on Sunday, including any and all new employees.
This has the potential to seriously impact Sunday shopping as it could reduce the consistency of service and quality that customers rely on during one of the busiest shopping days of the week.
Our members want to continue to provide quality, specialized service in our stores and the company is making it increasingly harder to keep Stop & Shop a great place to work and shop.
Benefits like time-and-a-half Sunday pay, are common sense benefits. Our members help customers get the quality food and quality service that they deserve. The truth is, cuts to Stop & Shop workers’ benefits are cuts that will hurt us all.
UFCW Local 328 is committed to ensuring our members and the community continue to have good jobs…the kind of jobs that New England families deserve.
No hard-working person should have to worry that the company they made successful could one day turn around and pull the rug out from under them.
One good job should be enough for New England workers. One good job should be enough for us all to afford health care for ourselves and our families and ensure that we can save for our futures.
Thank you for your support, your hard work, and your dedication to keeping our communities a better place.”
Stop & Shop workers went on strike today in Fall River and around the state.More information: https://fallriverreporter.com/stop-shop-union-officially-on-strike/?fbclid=IwAR116dsG8eh58yKuTk8fu4Tv_qXKw-5WfyxosEWvNz69LBHhQ1rtgObcfTw
Posted by Fall River Reporter on Thursday, April 11, 2019
The company had previously released the following statements.
“Stop & Shop is the only large fully unionized supermarket remaining in New England, and our full-time associates are among the industry’s highest paid. We are working hard to reach strong new contracts that will continue to provide highly competitive wages, comprehensive health care coverage and, unlike any other area food retailers, a defined benefit pension.”
(as of April 8th)
“Negotiations continued last week with the five New England UFCW union locals with the support of several federal mediators. During these discussions, Stop & Shop improved its March 28 “Final Offer” and offered new, three-year collective bargaining agreements that provide overall pay and benefits better than most of our competitors and improvements for our associates. Because there have been inaccurate statements made about Stop & Shop’s positions in negotiations, we believe it is important for our customers and our associates to have access to the complete facts on Stop & Shop’s offer. That is why today we have made the offers to each of the five unions available in their entirety, as well as summaries of each offer, available by clicking on the buttons below.”
These offers include:
Across-the-board pay increases for all associate s – no one’s pay would be cut
Continued “Gold Level” health care benefits as defined by the federal government at substantially below-market costs for eligible associates – and no changes to current deductibles
Continued support for and increased company contributions to the UFCW’s national defined benefit pension fund for current full-and vested part-time associates – a very rare benefit in the New England retail industry; and
Generous “voluntary retirement incentive offers” for long service associates
“Negotiations have been complex, largely because of factors specific to our region and industry – fierce competition from non-union retailers, new state mandates on minimum wage and paid sick leave, and increased costs related to health and retirement benefits. We believe this proposal represents a responsible balance that continues to keep Stop & Shop’s full-time associates among the highest paid in the industry while also providing pay increases and a wide range of benefits for those working full- or part-time schedules.”
The strike involves union workers in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut locations.