It's day seven of the Stop & Shop workers' strike and there is no resolution.
In a statement from UFCW Locals on Stop & Shop negotiations on Tuesday, Apirl 16, the five United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local Unions (328, 371, 1445, 1459, and 919) responded to the supermarket giant's advertising campaign.
The locals are currently negotiating with Stop & Shop Supermarket stores following a 31,000-employee walkout in New England in protest of the company’s proposed cuts to healthcare, wages, and retirement security.
“Stop & Shop’s latest proposal will drastically increase out-of-pocket health care costs, kick approximately 1,000 employees’ spouses off of their health care plan, and make it more challenging" for the workers, the statement said.
“We are amazed at the ever-increasing community support and appreciate all that New England is doing to help us fight for better jobs and better health care.”
The locals have been negotiating a new contract with Stop & Shop representatives since Jan. 14.
Among issues is the company's latest proposal that includes increases in health care premiums, reduced pension benefits, overtime pay on Sundays and holidays for part-time workers, according to the union's statement.
Stop & Shop on its website Tuesday, April 16 said the company's goal was to reach a fair new agreement.
The statement addressed the pension dispute.
"Our defined benefit pension plan for all union associates – 100 percent funded by the company – is an important part of these negotiations. Given misunderstandings about this topic, we want to provide an overview of the facts" outlining that
Keeping the defined benefit pension for all associates, 100% funded by the company.
Just 4% of privately employed Americans have only a defined benefit pension for retirement. (source CNN Money’s Ultimate Guide to Retirement)
No cuts to pension benefits associates already have earned.
20% increase in the company’s contributions to the pension fund to keep benefits growing under the funds’ rules at the same rate for current full- and vested part-time associates.
The situation got tense Tuesday afternoon, April 16 at the Wilton store where a woman crossed the picket line to shop at Stop & Shop and was issued a summons by police after allegedly getting in a fight with protestors in Wilton.
Stop & Shop employees throughout the area have been protesting for a week in an effort to obtain affordable healthcare and fair compensation.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.