By Tiffany Williams –
On Thursday afternoon employees of Stop & Shop supermarkets, one of the largest supermarkets in the Northeast walked off the job.
31,000 United Food & Commercial Workers union members voted to go on strike after contract negotiations stalled.
The Quincy based Stop & Shop is a division of Dutch supermarket giant Ahold Delhaize with 415 stores across the Northeast but the strike affects only 240 stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.
Stop & Shop said it has “contingency plans in place to minimize disruption.”
When NewsDay Boston visited the Lincoln Street store in Worcester, two uniformed Worcester Police officers greeted customers telling them that the store was closed. Another Stop & Shop nearby on West Boylston Street was open but employees outside were screaming at customers not to cross the pickett line.
United Food & Commercial Workers unions say the company is demanding “unreasonable” wage and benefit cuts. However Stop & Shop says management’s “reasonable” offer includes across-the-board raises and health and pension benefits that are better than most other food retailers.
Five locals of the United Food & Commercial Workers Union have been negotiating a new contract with Stop & Shop representatives since Feb. 14.