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Stop & Shop Workers Rally Against ‘Draconian’ Cuts

March 24, 2019

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

CHICOPEE, Mass.—Hundreds of union members and their supporters rallied March 20 outside a Stop & Shop supermarket here, demanding that the company drop demands for cuts in their overtime pay, health and pension benefits, and vacation time. “This is the most draconian contract proposal we have ever had,” Jeff Jones, a business representative and organizer with United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1459, told the Springfield Republican. “There is no room to negotiate.” Local 1459, based in Springfield, is one of five UFCW locals representing Stop & Shop’s more than 30,000 workers in New England. Their contract expired Feb. 23, and all five have authorized strikes. The company has argued that because it is the only major unionized supermarket chain in New England, it has to be able to compete with nonunion employers such as Big Y, Walmart, Whole Foods/Amazon, and Aldi. “It’s just too many takebacks,” said Danielle Canty of Chicopee, a seafood manager who has worked for Stop & Shop for 19 years. “We have to stand up and fight for what’s right.” The union is also concerned about automation, such as self-service scanners replacing cashiers. Read more

March 24, 2019

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