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During their second day on strike, Stop & Shop union workers wave to passing drivers outside the Branford store at 22 Leetes Island Road. Pam Johnson/The Sound | Buy This Photo)
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Outside Branford Stop & Shop on April 12, striking employees' spirits were up, but as of noon, there was still no word on when they would be getting back to work, as the strike called by Local Union 371 UFCW-AFL-CIO stretched into day two.
About 25 employees of the Branford store were spending shifts at points outside the 22 Leetes Island Road store including parking lot entrances and the sidewalks outside the store front. As one striking employee mentioned, the parking lot was largely empty at a time when the store normally sees an uptick in grocery sales, ahead of the Easter Holiday.
Workers were spending shifts of about six hours -- the same amount of time they'd spend if they were at work -- picketing outside. More often than not, passing cars and trucks beeped and honked to show support to workers, with few cars turning into the lot; and most of those going in to patronize other shops on the premises. At a particularly cold and dreary point in the day, a group of striking workers got a bit more than a thumbs up from one driver who stopped by their group.
"She brought us Munchkins," reported one of the strikers, returning to the group after being waved over to the car by the driver.
Contract negotiations remain underway; with unions saying unreasonable wage and benefit cuts forced the strike. The strike is impacting 240 stores with workers represented by several unions at Stop & Shops in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
See more on the Local Union 371's position in our Zip06 story from April 11 here
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