Negotiators for the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) and New England’s largest unionized grocer Stop & Shop had still not reached and agreement Saturday.
Although the union reported some progress had been made on Saturday, “Stop & Shop is still threatening to cut many of the important benefits that help you provide quality service to customers and care for your families.”
“We assure you, we are still negotiating with federal mediators and have not agreed to any proposals that will hurt you and your families,” the UFCW stated, “or your reputation for providing quality service.”
Then the union went on to warn members against being divided:
In the coming days, the company may approach individuals with misinformation and use PR spin to try to divide us. They may try to sugar coat their proposals and attempt to sweep the sum of their irresponsible cuts under the rug. Make no mistake, our union family will not be divided. We are stronger together. And when we stick together, no one has to struggle alone.
If management tries to give you any information about a new contract or new policies, contact your union rep immediately.
If you start hearing things from the company that sound too good to be true about great wages, the “gold level” health care plan, or protected pension benefits, don’t take their word for it. Get the facts, talk to your rep, and sign up for members only text alerts.
Any form of intimidation, misinformation, or manipulation towards you and your coworkers is wrong. If you see it, let us know. You don’t deserve to be treated like you don’t know the issues that are important to you. You deserve better than corporate spin. You deserve the truth and a strong contract.
While it is unclear why the UFCW is concerned about the possibility of being divided, Stop & Shop has stated that, due to its competition in New England, it needs a contract that “must reflect the rapid changes and increasing competition that are reshaping our industry.”
The company also has a Fact Sheet on its website (in full below) that, in part, states:
- Stop & Shop is the only large fully-unionized food retailer left in New England. Our labor costs are having a major impact on the company’s ability to compete in a fundamentally changing market.
- Full-time Stop & Shop union associates in New England are among the highest paid in the industry.
- In Massachusetts, for example, full-time associates in various positions make as much as 44% more per hour than other grocery employees. This is in addition to a comprehensive package of health and retirement benefits. Under our latest proposal, all associates would see an increase in take-home pay. Wage cuts have never been proposed.
- Stop & Shop associates pay far less for health care coverage than employees
at most other companies.
- Unlike its non-union competitors, Stop & Shop provides most of its associates
with a defined benefit pension, funded completely by the company.
- Stop & Shop provides more paid time off than other food retailers in the region.
Within the last month, the UFCW locals negotiating with Stop & Shop have already held strike authorization votes, and do have the authority to call the union’s members out on strike.
If a strike does happen, Stop & Shop says it is prepared.
“Should a union strike or job action occur, we have plans in place to minimize interruption to our store operations so that our customers can continue to count on Stop & Shop,” said Jennifer Brogan, a Stop and Shop spokeswoman in a written statement to WNPR.org. “This will include the deployment of corporate personnel as well as temporary replacement workers.”
Stop & Shop Fact Sheet on Scribd
- Stop & Shop Negotiations With UFCW To Go Into The Weekend
- No Progress In Stop & Shop Negotiations, Says UFCW
- Descendent of Stop & Shop Founders Sides With UFCW In Contract Talks
- UFCW Holds Rally To Fight New Stop & Shop’s ‘Draconian’ Contract
- If UFCW Strikes Stop & Shop, Teamsters Vow To Support