NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Stop & Shop employees returned to work Monday as grocery chain and the union representing them reached a tentative agreement on Sunday.
The strike lasted 11 days before a breakthrough in talks occurred late Easter Sunday. Membership will still have to vote on the contract for the protest to officially end.
The three Stop & Shops in the Berkshires were open limited hours during the strike and some services were not available.
"This is a very positive development that we could not have achieved without your unyielding support," reads a post on the UFCW Facebook page. "Please, stay closely tuned to this page over the next 72 hours as we will update you with more information when we have it."
The supermarket chain's 31,000 workers walked out on April 11 after talks stalled over a new three-year contract. The members of five United Food and Commercial Workers International locals covering New England voted to authorize a strike on March 11; their contract ended in February.
"This is a great victory for our union members," Tyrone Housey, president of UFCW Local 1459, said in a Facebook video posted on Sunday night.
UFCW Local 1459 represents some 2,000 Stop & Shop employees in Western Mass, including the three stores in the Berkshires.
Housey's video update on Saturday had shown the union and Stop & Shop were still far apart on health and welfare benefits and that talks were moving slowly. The union had objected to scheduled raises being immediately eaten up by increases in insurance premiums and lower tiers for part-time pension benefits.
Stop & Shop has argued that being the only unionized chain left it at a disadvantage in a competitive market. Company officials pointed to the high wages and benefits its workers earn. UFCW responded that the chain's parent company, Dutch multinational Ahold Delhaize, made $2 billion in profits last year.
The details of the agreement have not been released. According to joint statement by the unions, it "preserves health care and retirement benefits, provides wage increases, and maintains time-and-a-half pay on Sunday for current members."
Stop & Shop made a similar statement and thanks customers for their patience.
"Our associates' top priority will be restocking our stores so we can return to taking care of our customers and communities and providing them with the service they deserve. We deeply appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers during this time, and we look forward to welcoming them back to Stop & Shop," the company posted on its website.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to email@example.com.
iBerkshires.com welcomes critical, respectful dialogue. Name-calling, personal attacks, libel, slander or foul language is not allowed. All comments are reviewed before posting and will be deleted or edited as necessary.
MCLA Men's Soccer Team Snaps 22-Game Losing Streak
NASHUA, N.H. -- MCLA's Rafael Castro scored a pair of goals and the Trailblazers held off host Rivier 2-1 this evening in non conference men's soccer action.
The win snapped a 22-game skid for the Trailblazers dating back to the 2017 season.
Castro got MCLA (1-4) off to a strong start collecting his first goal of the night in the 14th minute off a Garrett DeRosia assist for a 1-0 advantage. The Trailblazers kept the lead into halftime even though Rivier (0-4-1) outshot the visitors 6-1 in the opening half.
Castro would strike again in the 68th minute. He would score unassisted to up the margin to 2-0 with just 22 minutes left to play. Rivier didn't go quietly however as Kelvin Cortez would strike in the 72nd minute to trim the deficit to just 2-1, still with 18 minutes to play.
Lifting that shame is one of the major goals of the Voices for Recovery event, which starts at noon in Colegrove Park with informational tables and family activities, continues at 1 p.m. with a ceremony of remembrance for those lost to recovery followed by a walk up Main Street to City Hall for a... click for more
And while the commissioners were supportive of the efforts being made by Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts in developing the empty lot into a park to entice its visitors to the downtown, they acknowledged they had no control over the 40-foot by 40-foot installation that's going to be facing... click for more
But when the topics are narrowed down and announced, Executive Director Amber Besaw warned, people in the room on Friday shouldn't be surprised if they saw ideas they hadn't heard mentioned in the room at The Green. That's because, for the first time, the Coalition held a call-in session on Aug. 23... click for more
The 50-year-old municipal camping site has had some upgrades in recent years but the next phase could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, Administrative Officer Michael Canales informed the Windsor Lake Recreation Commission on Monday.
click for more