Stop & Shop workers who are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) have gone on strike, shutting down the supermarket chain’s stores in Connecticut.
Stop & Shop has a Connecticut workforce of approximately 7,500. The union’s three-year labor deal with the supermarket expired on Feb. 23 and negotiations between the two sides failed to reach common ground. UFCW Locals 371 and 919, which represent the Connecticut workers, joined with Locals 328, 1445 and 1459 in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in the strike.
“Our 31,000 members who work at Stop & Shop work incredibly hard to provide the great customer service that has made the company billions of dollars in profit and the top grocery store in New England,” the union said in a statement. “Instead of a contract that recognizes the value and hard work that our members provide every day, Stop & Shop has only proposed drastic and unreasonable cuts to health care benefits and take home pay, while replacing real customer service with more serve-yourself checkout machines.”
The union gave no indication how long the strike would last. It is not clear if the UFCW had plans to extend the strike outside of the three New England states.
Stop & Shop issued a statement that took the union to task for its actions.
“Given that negotiations with assistance of the federal mediators are continuing, we are disappointed that the UFCW chose to order a work stoppage in an attempt to disrupt service at our stores,” the statement said. “Stop & Shop has contingency plans in place to minimize disruption.”