From UFCW International On Point—UFCW Local 1500 Stop & Shop (who has the same parent company as Giant Food) grocery workers voted to authorize a strike on October 28th in response to their employers’ attempts to drastically reduce employee healthcare benefits and, for some workers, eliminate them completely. A ground swell of public support for the Stop & Shop employees seeking a new contract was disregarded by management as the company refused to sign a two-week contract extension.
Currently members are negotiating without a contract and the strike authorization remains in effect until an acceptable agreement is reached. If the 5,500 workers strike, it would shut down stores in the New York City metro area.
“Stop & Shop management fails to understand that shoppers who come to our stores are not just customers but are also friends and neighbors,” said Greg Pasquale, Produce Manager for Stop & Shop in Beekman, New York. “My coworkers and I do not want to inconvenience shoppers, lose pay or create economic hardship for our communities. However, management must come back to the table with a new attitude and partner with us to reach a fair agreement to avoid a strike,” Pasquale concluded.
Members launched a public information campaign that includes press outreach, social media, and labor to neighbor organizing. They are also engaging elected officials via meetings, phone calls, and emails.