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Stop & Shop strike ends with union claiming victory

New York Teacher

Stop and Shop - Logo
Workers at the Stop & Shop supermarket chain in New England ended an 11-day strike on April 21 with a new contract that boosts wages, preserves health care and increases the company’s contributions to full-time workers’ pensions.

The deal was ratified unanimously on April 25.

The workers’ union, the United Food and Commercial Workers, hailed the three-year agreement as “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.”

The strike began when Stop & Shop’s management attempted to impose a two-tiered system that would have provided lower pay and less benefits for new employees. It became the longest strike in the history of the company, affecting more than 240 stores across Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Striking workers gained support from several presidential candidates, including U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

The workers received significant support from Stop & Shop customers, with an estimated 75 percent of loyal shoppers refusing to cross picket lines, according to an analysis of mobile device location data. The strike cost Stop & Shop about $100 million.

“This is a watershed moment,” said Tom Juravich, a labor studies professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. “That kind of leverage is unprecedented since the golden years of auto and steel.”

Associated Press, April 21
Boston Globe, April 22
WTNH, April 25

Related Topics: National News