FRAMINGHAM – State Rep. Maria Robinson visited with striking workers at Stop & Shop at both stores in Framingham.
Both the Temple Street store and the Old Conn Path store are located in the 6th Middlesex district, that Rep. Robinson serves.
“I visited both the Temple St. and Old Connecticut Path locations today with coffee and donuts, and I chatted with the workers,” wrote Rep. Robinson on social media. “They are standing out in the cold to save their jobs, and I’m happy to report there has been minimal line crossing and lots of support for the workers from regulars.”
Rep. Robisnon said both her parents were union members. Her mom a member of the temsters and her dad a member of the National Association of Letter Carrieres.
“Workers deserve fair treatment from management, and we all need to stand together to support them,” wrote Rep. Robinson.
Both Framingham stores closed on Thursday, after the 1 p.m. strike was announced. Both stores have re-opened with management running the operation and workers striking outside.
Rep. Robinson said she is supporting the union and asking people not to cross the picket line.
Stop & Shop has been asking customers to use self check out to help management during the strike.
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.
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.
Photos courtesy of Rep. Robinson’s social media