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May 22, 2019
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STOP & SHOP WORKERS GO ON STRIKE

We ask that you support these striking workers by not shopping at Stop & Shop and not crossing any picket lines these workers have established.

Please stop by and show your support for these these workers and walk the picket lines with them.

Stop & Shop workers across Connecticut, New England go on strike

Stop & Shop workers across Connecticut and New England are walking off the job after negotiations over a new contract broke down this week, according to union officials.

The 31,000 workers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, who are represented by five locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers, have been working without a contract since late February.

Federal mediators were brought in recently to try to end the stalemate between the union and management, but a final offer from Stop & Shop was rejected this week. All five locals had taken strike authorization votes earlier this spring.

Sticking points for a new contract include proposed cuts in health care and retirement benefits.

Stop & Shop says it needs to reduce costs to remain competitive. As one of the few remaining union grocers in New England, its labor costs are significantly higher than its competitors, the company said. Unlike other grocers, the company offers a defined benefit pension, Stop & Shop says.

But union officials have pointed to a recent financial report from Ahold Delhaize, Stop & Shop’s Dutch parent company, showing more than $2 billion in profit in 2018 as evidence the company is doing fine.

The grocery store chain took the unusual step of publicly releasing its “final offer” to employees this week.

“Negotiations have been complex, largely because of factors specific to our region and industry – fierce competition from non-union retailers, new state mandates on minimum wage and paid sick leave, and increased costs related to health and retirement benefits," the company said in a statement on its website. "We believe this proposal represents a responsible balance that continues to keep Stop & Shop’s full-time associates among the highest paid in the industry while also providing pay increases and a wide range of benefits for those working full- or part-time schedules.”

Last fall, Stop & Shop unveiled a $70 million makeover of 21 supermarkets in the Hartford area as it ups its game to compete with online sellers while at the same time trying to attract and keep customers who have plenty of choices in an expanding universe of food and grocery stores.

The region will be a test market for Stop & Shop to pilot features such as a broader choice in produce, an in-store smoker, poke bowl and taqueria stations — areas selling Mexican food — and frictionless checkout, which uses mobile pay for a quicker exit from the store.

Stop & Shop, based in Quincy, Mass., will gauge the success of the upgrades as it makes changes to its more than 400 stores over the next few years. The company said it is committed to making up to $2 billion in upgrades.

Message from the Secretary-Treasurer

Brothers and Sisters:

The recent JANUS decision regarding our public sector members has also raised many new issues for our Local that we in Connecticut have not had to experience in the past.  This Supreme Court decision allows public sector employees to choose to not become part of the union yet they receive all contractual benefits that are negotiated for our dues paying members.  This decision gives these employees the right to have the union forcibly arbitrate their issues and not have any obligation to pay dues or fees to the Local Union.  This decision is a direct attack on unions.  We will be keeping people informed as more clarifications of this decision come out.

I want to thank the Stewards and the Members for their patience over the past months.  I was spending large amounts of my time in the UPS National Negotiations as well as Co-chairing the New England Supplemental Negotiations with our Chairman, Sean O’Brien. The UPS contract is one of the largest private sector contracts in the nation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Fraternally yours,

Dave Lucas

Secretary-Treasurer

Principal Officer

 
 
Teamsters Local 671
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