- Stop & Shop has reached tentative agreements with United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445 and 1459, according to the company’s website. The five local union chapters, representing 31,000 Stop & Shop workers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, went on strike April 11.
- The tentative three-year agreements include increased pay for all associates, continued health care coverage for eligible associates and ongoing defined benefit pension benefits for eligible associates, Stop & Shop said. The new terms are subject to ratification votes by members of each local union.
- According to a press release sent to Grocery Dive from United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), the agreement preserves health care and retirement benefits, provides wage increases and maintains time-and-a-half pay on Sunday for current members.
Across New England, Stop & Shop workers are expected to return to work today after officially being on strike for 11 days. Stores opened at 8 a.m. today and have returned to normal hours, a Stop & Shop spokesperson told Grocery Dive in an email.
A message posted last night on UFCW Local 1445’s website said, “For the time being, all department managers and regularly scheduled daytime full-timers should report to their store at 7:30 a.m. on Monday … We ask that you please stop picketing now.”
Just a few days ago, picket lines were holding strong and Stop & Shop stores across New England were either closed or operating with limited resources. Stop & Shop and UFCW have been in negotiations over new contracts since January 14, and the retailer's employees have been working on expired contracts since February 24. Some shoppers were standing in unity with striking workers, while others refused to cross the picket lines to grocery shop. Despite ongoing negotiations, an end to the strike seemed out of reach.
This past weekend appears to have been a productive one, with negotiations effectively ending one of the largest grocery strikes in recent history. Full details of the new contract proposals have not been released, but each UFCW local is expected to hold ratification meetings for its members to discuss the details soon.
“Today is a powerful victory for the 31,000 hardworking men and women of Stop & Shop who courageously stood up to fight for what all New Englanders want — good jobs, affordable health care, a better wage, and to be treated right by the company they made a success,” a statement from UFCW said.
In Stop & Shop’s latest website update, the company wrote that associates’ top priority will be restocking stores and providing customers with the service they deserve.