UPDATED 7:58 AM PT – Monday, April 22, 2019
Thousand of Stop & Shop workers are celebrating after a ten-day long strike ends with a tentative agreement.
31,000 employees in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut are returning to work Monday, following a 10-day long labor strike sponsored by five local United Food and Commercial Worker’s unions. The strikes started April 11, 2019 and were sparked by proposed changes to employee pay, health care benefits, and reductions to pension plans by the grocery store chain.
Stop & Shop was hit particularly hard by the strike during the Christian Holy Week, where thousands of customers were forced to do their holiday shopping elsewhere.
“This is an extremely busy weekend for our company, and it’s unfortunate that people have to be forced to shop somewhere else because we’d certainly like to have them here with us,” said Stop & Shop employee Raymond Lemieux.
A number of Democrat politicians, including Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, made appearances throughout the strike to show support for the unions.
“Let me get something straight with you all: Wall Street bankers and CEO’s did not build America. You built America! We built America! Ordinary, middle class people built America!” — Joe Biden, former vice president
The three-year agreement includes increased pay, continued health care coverage, retirement benefits, and time-and-a-half pay on Sundays for current members.
The tentative deal must now be ratified by each of the five unions involved in negotiations with the grocery chain. Union officials said they hope to ratify the deal as soon as possible.
Workers are expected to return to their jobs on Monday, with what many see as a major victory behind them.