31,000 UFCW members at Stop & Shop walk off job to protest cuts in health care, pay and customer service
UNI Global Union stands with the 31,000 members of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) who work at Stop & Shop stores in New England, United States, who walked off the job, Thursday. They are protesting at the company’s proposed drastic and unreasonable cuts to health care, take home pay, and customer service as well as unlawful conduct.
Head of UNI Commerce, Mathias Bolton said, “These cuts drive a stake through workers’ lives, as well as customers and the local communities. UNI stands in solidarity and urges its affiliate across the world to sign the petition calling for Stop & Shop management to change course, and stop the race to the bottom.”
Sign the petition here: http://www.ufcw.org/supportstopandshopworkers/
The proposed cuts by Stop & Shop, whose parent company earned $2 billion in profits in 2018, would devastate health care benefits, significantly increase health care costs, and decrease take home pay. Stop & Shop’s proposed cuts would also have a negative and severe impact on customer service, including the very cashiers, stockers, bakers, deli clerks, and butchers that Stop & Shop customers rely on.
The members of the five UFCW Locals (Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445, and 1459 released the following joint statement:
“Our 31,000 members who work at Stop & Shop work incredibly hard to provide the great customer service that has made the company billions of dollars in profit and the top grocery store in New England. Instead of a contract that recognizes the value and hard work that our members provide every day, Stop & Shop has only proposed drastic and unreasonable cuts to health care benefits and take home pay, while replacing real customer service with more serve-yourself checkout machines.
“The hard-working men and women at over 240 stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are standing together to tell Stop & Shop that it is time to do the right thing. The men and women who make Stop & Shop a success have earned and deserve affordable health care, a good wage, and the ability to retire with dignity. They have earned and deserve a good job that allows them to do what they do best: provide the very best customer service for New England communities.
“What Stop & Shop workers don’t deserve, and what no one who works hard in New England deserves, are unreasonable cuts while the company they work so hard for makes billions of dollars in profits. That is wrong and it sends a terrible message to every customer who truly depends on our Stop & Shop cashiers, stockers, bakers, deli clerk, and butchers.”
UFCW Locals representing 31,000 Stop & Shop workers in New England have been negotiating a new contract with Stop & Shop representatives since January 14th. The company’s latest proposal includes the following drastic cuts:
- Requires the average full-time employee to pay an additional $893 and the average part-time employee with employee-only coverage to pay an additional $603 in weekly health care premiums over three years.
- Reduces the monthly pension benefit for many newly hired full-time employees by 32 percent.
- Many part-time employees would receive an average general wage increase of less than two percent.
Stop & Shop’s parent company, Ahold Delhaize, saw over $2 billion in profits last year and got a U.S. tax cut of $225 million in 2017. The company is claiming the proposed cuts are necessary, but is unlawfully refusing to provide financial information to verify that claim.
While Stop & Shop continues to propose drastically cutting worker benefits, Ahold shareholders voted on April 10 to give themselves an 11.1 percent raise in dividends over the last year. The expected payout will be on April 25 for around $880 million.