Thousands of Stop & Shop employees could go on strike as their contract with the company expired over the weekend.
Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445 union “overwhelmingly” voted to authorize a potential strike as they continue negotiating with Stop & Shop officials. The workers voted on Sunday morning that they are prepared to strike if they don’t receive a new contract with the company.
The negotiations largely hinge on health insurance, pensions, vacation time and other benefits, with the union claiming that Stop & Shop is “looking to degrade the quality of life” of their employees.
Stop & Shop has countered by saying that its proposals “would ensure fulltime associates continue to be among the highest paid food retail workers in the region.”
“A fair, new agreement also must reflect the rapid changes and increasing competition that are reshaping our industry," a Stop & Shop spokesman stated. "Any new contract must ensure that Stop & Shop can continue to offer customers the service, selection and value they expect.
“Full-time Stop & Shop associates are among the highest paid food retail workers in the region,” the company added. “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.”
Sunday’s vote hasn’t sparked a strike, but it gives the union the option to declare one at any time as negotiations move forward.
“Stop & Shop has known for the past three years that our contract was set to expire on Feb. 23,” UFCW Local 1445 officials stated.“But because of their continued corporate greed throughout these negotiations, Stop & Shop employees and customers now find themselves in a position where job actions may take place.”
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