Stop & Shop strike ends
As of Sunday night, the 11-day strike that virtually shut down Trumbull's only supermarket ended.
According to a statement from Shop & Shop, the grocery chain “has reached fair new tentative agreements with UFCW Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445 and 1459, which represent our 31,000 associates in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.”
The company said it will be happy to see its employees return to work “as the strike has ended.”
Stop & Shop noted three-year agreements, subject to ratification votes by members of each local union.
These agreements include increased pay for all associates and continued health coverage for eligible associates. They also include pension benefits for all eligible associates.
“Our associates’ top priority will be restocking our stores so we can return to taking care of our customers and communities and providing them with the service they deserve,” the statement said. “We deeply appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers during this time, and we look forward to welcoming them back to Stop & Shop.”
The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) issued a statement, calling the end of the strike that began on April 11 a “powerful victory.”
“We are incredibly grateful to our customers and everyone who proudly stood together with us every day for a contract that invests in the communities we serve,” the statement said.
The UFCW statement said under the proposed contract, health care and retirement benefits are preserved, wage increases are provided and time-and-a-half pay on Sunday for current members will be maintained.
“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,” the UFCW statement said.
David Cadden, a retired professor of entreprenurship and strategy at Quinnipiac University’s School of Businesss, said he was curious to see the details of the agreements.
“It will be interesting to see the exact nature of the agreement,” he said in a prepared statement. “It’s hoped the results will create a harmonious working environment that will enable Stop & Shop to recover its customer base.”
He said data seemed to show Stop & Shop customers respected the picket line and shopped elsewhere.
“The question now becomes whether they will return to Stop & Shop,” Cadden said.
Sen. Richard Blumenthal called the tentative contract agreement a win for all American workers, in a statement later Sunday night.
“I was proud to stand with Stop & Shop workers all around Connecticut, visiting more than two dozen stores and seeing their fortitude and courage,” Blumenthal said. “Fairness triumphed. They had strong support from communities across Connecticut who recognize that they are the face and voice of customer service.”