Stop & Shop workers walk off the job amid labor dispute

Stop & Shop unionized workers in East Hartford Connecticut on strike as the parent company continues contract negotiations with unions for employee benefits

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"We offered to form a subcommittee on negotiations as an effort to keep discussions with Stop & Shop going and negotiate in good faith".

"Stop & Shop's parent company, Ahold Delhaize, saw over $2 billion in profit past year and got a U.S. tax cut of $225 million in 2017", the statement said.

Westport's Super Stop & Shop employees have walked off the job.

There has also been picket lines at some Stop & Shop locations in New England.

The Stop & Shop website states: "Given that negotiations with assistance of the federal mediators are continuing, we are disappointed that the UFCW chose to order a work stoppage in an attempt to disrupt service at our stores".

"Well, today is my first day at work at Stop & Shop", said von Heyden, of Lincoln.

"They are a very profitable company, they made billions a year ago in sales and profits, and they're trying to destroy the health benefits and the pension of our hardworking members", Bollen said in the video, posted on Facebook.

The Massachusetts AFL-CIO tweeted that 31,000 workers were on strike as of 1 p.m. The start of Thursday's strike left customers like Princess Guwor, a Lynn teacher, with decisions to make.

Guwor walked across the Lynn store parking lot and Clemens asked to speak to her about the strike.

"We've been bargaining and bargaining".

"We are working as quickly as possible to reopen the stores and to minimize disruptions to our customers", Brogan said.

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Barry said that 157 employees work at the Farmington Avenue store, and all were honoring the picket line thus far. After listening to Clemens, Guwor headed for the store entrance only to be told the Western Union machine was shut down.

Stop & Shop counters that its employees are among the highest paid in the area.

Luciano's statement said that Stop & Shop's parent company "reported over $2 billion in profits previous year".

Union officials continue to hammer away at Stop & Shop for proposing massive reductions in worker benefits, such as health care, pension plans and bonuses in lieu of cost-of-living wage increases. She described the proposal as "a rare benefit in the New England food retail industry". "Under our latest proposal, all associates would see an increase in take-home pay".

"Stop & Shop remains ready and available to meet with the union locals at any time".

At the Stop & Shop in West Springfield, the supermarket reopened two hours after the strike was called with management as the only staff.

"This company has shown us that they do not respect you they do not respect the hard work that you do everyday and we're done talking", Bollin said.

Striking Lynn workers had varied views on how long they can stay out of work.

Clemens has worked for the company for more than three decades and said she can rely in part on family support if the strikes extends from days into weeks. "A lot of people at this store live paycheck to paycheck", she said.

Amy Lepage and Becky Hernandez were at the store in support of their mother, a Stop & Shop employee.

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