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New England Stop & Shop Workers Ratify New Contract

Original post by UFCW International

Local 400 member Kimberly Curtis poses for a photo to show her support for New England Stop & Shop workers. See more "solidarity selfies" on Facebook.

Local 400 member Kimberly Curtis poses for a photo to show her support for New England Stop & Shop workers. See more “solidarity selfies” on Facebook.

On April 20, the hard-working men and women of Stop & Shop in New England ratified a new contract with their employer by an overwhelming majority. The contract covers 35,000 union members represented by UFCW Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445 and 1459.

The new contracts secure wage increases for all the men and women whose hard work has made Stop & Shop a successful and profitable company. In addition, the new contracts will help new full-time employees earn a family-supporting wage of $15 an hour more quickly. By negotiating together, the five local unions were able to secure a commitment from the company to increase the total number of full-time jobs by 480 over the next three years.

This contract demonstrates the ways that union members work in collaboration with management to solve problems in the workplace. This contract establishes the first Labor-Management Committees at Stop & Shop, giving employees and management a forum to come together to make Stop & Shop a better place to work and shop. The men and women of Stop & Shop were also able to work with the company to design a new scheduling system that will ensure working families have their schedules two weeks in advance.

The New England Council of the UFCW made the following statement after the contracts were ratified by membership:

“The UFCW has a long history of working in partnership with Stop & Shop to ensure that people who work hard in these stores can earn better wages and a better life. Today, by standing together, our members ratified a contract that will continue that tradition.

“This contract is a powerful measure of what our union family can truly achieve when hard-working men and women come together and stand together. This is also a victory for Stop & Shop customers, whose support throughout our negotiations sent a powerful message that they value employers and companies who treat their employees and their families right.

“Over these many long days and weeks, as we have worked hard to negotiate a better life for our members and their families, our New England bargaining committee has drawn real strength from the support of their customers, their communities, and our entire UFCW family who have stood with us. We will never forget what you have done for us, and we look forward to seeing you in our stores with an even bigger smile.”

Stop & Shop Workers Announce New Actions in Campaign for Fair Contract

Fight for a fair deal at Stop & Shop intensifies as profitable company demands cuts to grocery workers’ benefits

With negotiations continuing to drag on, 35,000 hardworking men and women at Stop & Shop stores in New England have been working under an expired contract since late February.

Today, the New England Council of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union announced a series of rallies in the campaign for a fair contract for 35,000 Stop & Shop workers in New England.

Last week, Stop & Shop workers held a rally at a store in Braintree, MA, where they were joined by hundreds of customers, elected officials, and community supporters, including Local 400 organizers. Following last week’s event, five more rallies have been scheduled throughout the region:

Wednesday, March 16th, 4-6 P.M.
Quincy Stop & Shop
65 Newport Ave., Quincy, MA

Thursday, March 17th, 4-6 P.M.
Dorchester Stop & Shop
1100 Massachusetts Ave, Dorchester, MA

Tuesday, March 22nd, 4-6 P.M.
Norwalk Stop & Shop
380 Main Ave, Norwalk, CT

Wednesday, March 23rd, 4-6 P.M.
East Hartford Stop & Shop
940 Silver Ln, East Hartford, CT

Thursday, March 24th, 4-6 P.M.
Holyoke Stop & Shop
28 Lincoln St, Holyoke, MA

Stop & Shop’s parent company, Netherlands-based grocery giant Ahold (which also owns Giant Foods), recently announced operating profits for last year in excess of $1.4 billion. Today, Ahold and Delhaize shareholders approved the merger of their companies, which will be completed later this year. Prior to closing of the merger, Ahold shareholders received a payout of more than $1 billion.

While paying out dividends to foreign shareholders, the company is demanding that workers accept cuts to longstanding benefits, decreasing take-home pay and cutting future retirement benefits despite a fully-funded and secure pension fund. The company is further demanding that future workers be given second-rate benefits and pay, transforming Stop & Shop’s once middle-class jobs into low-wage jobs.

“Unions like the UFCW built America’s middle class,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren in a letter of support for the workers. She went on to call it “critically important” that Stop & Shop workers achieve a contract that “provides strong wages, comprehensive benefits, and retirement security.”

“Stop & Shop’s proposals show that the company has strayed from its core values,” said Tim Melia, president of UFCW Local 328. “This used to be a company that took pride in offering the best wages and benefits in the region, and attracting the best workers. Our members are only asking for their fair share of the success their hard work has built.”

To show your support for a fair deal at Stop & Shop, call the company’s service line at 1-800-767-7772 and tell them to stop threatening our New England members and their families.

Here’s the Latest on Stop & Shop Bargaining in New England

20160301-L1445-Leafleting-6Right now, 35,000 hardworking men and women in New England are bargaining a new contract with Stop & Shop, a subsidiary of Ahold, which also owns Giant Foods. The following update on the bargaining process was shared today by our UFCW brothers and sisters in New England:

Despite the company’s profitability, which was just reported to be in excess of 10 billion dollars, Stop & Shop continues to present us with deep cuts to the hard-earned benefits you and all our current members have earned and deserve.

What the company is proposing is simply unacceptable.

As you know, our members’ work is vital to Stop & Shop’s current and future success. As such, your New England locals, their staff, and Presidents, are determined to continue working together and fighting for a better life for you and your family.

Let us be very clear – we stand united in our goal of securing the better wages and better benefits all our members have earned.

After receiving the latest proposal from the company, the five UFCW local unions are now meeting and diligently preparing the right response. We are determined to make it very clear to the company that we will not go backwards.

As part of these efforts, we are building a broad public coalition of support that includes our members, our customers, our extended union family and various community groups and supporters, who will come together in a public rally in Braintree, MA on March 10 to make our message clear to Stop & Shop that it is time to do the right thing.

In addition, we are also calling on other UFCW locals in D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey & New York to engage their Stop & Shop store’s management and send a clear message that time has come to give our New England Stop & Shop workers a fair deal.

As we move forward, it is our commitment to you that we will not only keep you aware of every development, we will negotiate as hard as we can to provide you and your family a better life.

United for a Fair Deal at Stop & Shop

In an unprecedented display of solidarity, 35,000 Stop & Shop workers in New England, represented by five UFCW locals, have come together to strengthen their position at the bargaining table. Bargaining committees from UFCW Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445 and 1459 have stayed at the table for two months fighting for a fair deal.

As the current contract expired over the weekend, local unions held joint actions to educate customers on the ongoing contract fight. Customers are standing with store workers, signing petitions and calling on the company to do what’s right.

“We’re standing up because we want to see Stop & Shop invest in the communities it serves and the people who make these stores succeed,” said Jacquie Watson, a member of Local 328’s bargaining committee.

Company proposals threaten to cut benefits, offer inadequate wages, and dramatically reduces wages and benefits for future hires.

“Stop & Shop is trying to make new and future workers second class citizens in our stores,” said Taunette Greene, a member of Local 1459’s bargaining committee. “I don’t want to see the company divide workers against each other. I’ve been very proud to work for Stop & Shop for 44 years, and I want new workers in my store to have that same opportunity.”

Stop & Shop workers are continuing to work without a contract to give the company time to put forward a fair proposal. To show your support for a fair deal at Stop & Shop, call the company’s service line at 1-800-767-7772.

Original post published by UFCW International.

Here’s How You Can Help New England Stop & Shop Workers

Photo: Stop & Shop Grocery Store by Flickr user JeepersMedia licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Photo: Stop & Shop Grocery Store by Flickr user JeepersMedia licensed under CC BY 2.0.

A message to all our Giant Food members & their families, from three UFCW locals

Right now, more than 35,000 UFCW members in New England – represented by five locals – are engaged in contract negotiations with the Stop & Shop, a subsidiary of Giant’s parent company, Ahold. From the very beginning, these Locals have negotiated in good faith, and all we’ve asked of Ahold is to do what is right by our members and their families.

The simple truth is that Ahold is a success because of you and all our members who work at Ahold’s stores – whether that store goes under the Giant Foods banner or the Stop & Shop banner. It is because of your dedication and commitment to serving our customers and the communities we love, that Ahold succeeds.

Instead of doing what is right, Ahold presented contract proposals that were nothing short of a slap in the face to these men and women – people just like you.

Not only is Ahold refusing to respect the hard work of our New England members, they are proposing dramatic changes to these contracts.

Ahold’s actions are wrong.

While your contract may not be involved, what the company is proposing is a threat to every member of our union family.

Make no mistake, Ahold’s actions in New England – if unstopped – will set a lower standard that the company will use when YOUR contract is up for negotiation. This is an issue that MUST matter to all of us.

Join with us, and stand with our brothers and sisters in New England. Help them, and help all of us, fight for the better life and good contract we all earn through our hard work.

Call Stop & Shop Customer Service: 1 (800) 767-7772

First, call the Stop & Shop Customer Service Number at 1 (800) 767-7772, and tell them to stop threatening our New England members and their families. Tell them that you and your local stand with our New England union family. Tell them to do what is right.

Second, please tell your family and friends to do the same. Every call will send a clear message that we are a proud union family.

We stand together. We fight for each other – no matter where we call home.

Thank you for all that you do, and for the privilege of serving you.

Tony Helfer
President, UFCW Local 23

George Murphy, Jr.
President, UFCW Local 27

Mark P. Federici
President, UFCW Local 400