Thousands of Stop & Shop employees return to work after long 11-day strike

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Thousands of Stop & Shop employees return to work after long 11-day strike

Megan Miller, News Editor

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After 11 days of strike, Stop & Shop workers have gone back to work. The grocery chain came to “new tentative agreement” with UFCW Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445 and 1459, across Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Cashiers and deli workers stopped working on April 11 at nearly 300 stores, forcing Stop & Shop into a tentative agreement with increased pay, continued health coverage and pension benefits calling it a “powerful victory.”  “We deeply appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers during this time, and we look forward to welcoming them back to Stop & Shop,” said the company in a statement. This did not only cause the workers to miss multiple days of work but cost Stop & Shop an estimated $2 million per week as well as possibly causing company to permanently lose a part of its market share as the strike continues. Not only did they lose average revenue, but they lost customers and money on one of the busiest weeks during the year, Easter and Passover. The 2019 strike, with nearly 350,000 working days were lost, parallels the 2006 Sikorsky strike for the largest that impacted Connecticut within the past 30 years. “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,” said UFCW in a statement. Associates returning to work worry about the possibility of losing a strong customer base due to fewer products on the shelves and almost two weeks of the store being closed. However, this strike proved to be a win for not only Stop & Shop workers, but all American workers. The contract still is seeking approval and has to be voted on by union members and executives to pass, but is pressuring executives to act on workers needs.