On April 21, employees at the US supermarket chain Stop & Shop ended their 11-day strike after arriving at a tentative agreement that reflected their demands. The three-year agreement, reached between the company and the five United Food and Commercial Workers union locals, offered increased pay for all the workers, as well as continued health care coverage and retirement benefits. The employees returned to work on April 22.
A joint statement released by the five unions said, “The agreement preserves health care and retirement benefits, provides wage increases, and maintains time-and-a-half pay on Sunday for current members.”
“Today is 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 – good jobs, affordable health care, a better wage, and to be treated right by the company they made a success.”
The new contract broke the deadlock in negotiations that had been persisting since February after the company introduced cost-cutting measures. Union members are yet to vote on whether to accept the new agreement.
The ten-day strike was the longest in the history of the company, and one of the largest private sector strikes in recent US history. Over 31,000 workers at 240 Stop & Shop stores in New England participated in the strike. While the workers were on strike, customer visits at stores decreased by nearly 75%, highlighting customers’ support for the strike.