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Stop & Shop union votes to strike, contract negotiations continue

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A Boston area chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers has voted to strike after Quincy, MA-based Stop & Shop’s contract with employees expired.

UFCW Local 1455 President Jeff Bollen said in a video statement posted to the group’s website that it plans to continue negotiations, but leadership of the five unions representing Stop & Shop employees are in agreement that a strike may be necessary.

“We do have things set up in the next few weeks to continue negotiations so that we can get past this stuff, but at some point we may have to pull the trigger,” Bollen said, in the video statement.

Stop & Shop, a banner from Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, said in a Feb. 24 statement on its website negotiations are continuing and it “remains committed to reaching a resolution as quickly as possible.” The company has about 30,000 employees represented by five unions. Local 1455 reportedly represents about 10,000.

“Full-time Stop & Shop associates are among the highest paid food retail workers in the region,” the statement said. “And we are working hard to reach strong new contracts that will continue to provide Stop & Shop associates with competitive wages and affordable health care for eligible associates. Stop & Shop also has committed to 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.”

Tyrone Housey, President of the UFCW Local 1459 board said in a video statement that the unions did not agree with proposed changes to policies regarding time and a half on Sunday, and changes to pension and healthcare and that the unions plan to meet to discuss a strike authorization.

“It’s not the greatest of news, but we’re still working,” he said in the statement. “I’m recommending members continue to work until we have reached an agreement.”


Pamela Riemenschneider is the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services.