FRAMINGHAM – Stop & Shop employees went on strike Thursday aftermoon, April 11.
The Massachusetts AFL-CIO tweeted that 31,000 workers were on strike as of 1 p.m.
UPDATED: Several stores have closed, including both stores in Framingham at Old Conn Path and at Temple Street, as of 1:30 p.m.
Reports have the Temple Street location open late this afternoon, April 11, but with self check out only.
UFCW Local 1445, which represents thousands of Stop & Shop workers, voted to authorize a strike in February.
The most recent Stop & Shop proposal cuts the monthly pension benefit for newly hired full-time employees by about 32 percent.
Stop & Shop’s most recent proposal has the average full-time employee paying an additional $893 in weekly health care premiums over the next three years.
Stop & Shop operates more than 400 stores in the northeast
Stop & Shop has maintained because it is the only New England supermarket chain with a unionized work force, it is at a competitive disadvantage.
Stop & Shop’s parent company, the Netherlands-based Ahold Delhaize, made more than $2 billion in profit last year and received a $225 million tax cut from the federal government in 2017, said the union.
Stop & Shop posted on its website it proposed a “good and reasonable offer to our union locals” that includes:
- Across-the-board pay increases for all associates – no one’s pay would be cut;
- Continued “Gold Level” health care benefits for eligible associates – at a fraction of what employees at other retail companies pay and with no changes to already unusually low deductibles; and
- Increased company contributions to the UFCW’s defined benefit pension fund for current full- and vested part-time associates – a rare benefit in the New England food retail industry.
Stop & Shop is offering raises for Local 1459 members of $20 a week for full time hires who were on the job before April 2016 and a $1,000 bonus for those hired after that point.
Part-time workers are offered raises of from 25 cents to 40 cents an hour.