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Article Published April 11, 2019
Local Stop & Shop Employees on Strike
Staff report

At noon today, members of Local 371 UFCW-AFL-CIO walked off the job and out onto the sidewalks in front of their employer, Stop & Shop, as ongoing union contract negotiations failed.

According to an April 6 post on the union’s website, “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 371 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.”

On its website www.stopandshop.com, Stop & Shop states that it s the only large fully-unionized food retailer left in New England and that labor costs are having a major impact on the company’s ability to compete in a fundamentally changing market. The site states that full-time Stop & Shop union associates in New England are among the highest paid in the industry, they pay far less for health care coverage than employees at most other companies, and that unlike its non-union competitors, Stop & Shop provides most of its associates with a defined benefit pension, funded completely by the company. It also states, Stop & Shop provides more paid time off than other food retailers in the region.