Shelton DTC backs Stop & Shop workers as strike continues

The Stop & Shop workers’ strike enters its sixth day Tuesday, April 16, with both sides still unable to agree on a new contract — negotiations were to continue Tuesday morning. 

“While talks continued with the company Monday through the federal mediator, Stop & Shop is still demanding major concessions that could severely impact your ability to provide for yourselves and your families,” United Food and Commercial Workers Local 919 said in a statement. 

“We know the company is selectively releasing information to the public about what they have proposed,” the union statement continued.“They are only telling part of the story. The concessions they want would affect members in different ways and we will leave no member behind. We reaffirmed to the company that our members are strong and will continue standing together, rain or shine, until the company does the right thing.” 

Throughout the strike, several state and area politicians have vocally backed the union’s decision, some even showing up to offer support to those walking the picket lines.

The latest show of support comes from the Shelton Democratic Town Committee, which approved a resolution, at its meeting Monday, April 15, to that effect. 

The resolutionproposed by DTC member Kevin Kosty, notes that Stop & Shop Markets have been working without a contract in Connecticut since February, and the company had more than $2 billion in profits last year as well as a $225 million tax cut and spent $880 million in increased dividend payments to shareholders while still asking workers for tens of millions in wage and benefit cuts to current and future employees while citing difficult market conditions.’

"The Shelton Democratic Party supports the employees of Stop & Shop Markets in their strike for fair compensation for an honest day’s work,” states the DTC resolution, “advises all Shelton residents not to cross the picket line to shop, and urges Stop & Shop and its parent company, Ahold Delhaize, to negotiate a new contract and bargain honestly with its employees and their union representatives,” 

Stop & Shop posted on its web site late Monday, “Stop & Shop recognizes the valuable role our associates play in creating a great experience for you, our customers. They are a part of your lives, a part of our community, and key to our success. That’s why it is so important to us to provide a fair contract to our employees who are members of the UFCW unions currently on strike. 

“We are committed to resolving our labor negotiations as quickly as possible so that our employees can return to their jobs and we can get back to serving you and the community.” 

The company also posted a “Strike Fact Sheet” and “Frequently Asked Questions.” 

Stop & Shop resumed negotiations Monday with five local union affiliates of the United Food & Commercial Workers, including UFCW Local 371, which has its head office on the Post Road in Westport. The strike extends to stores throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, with markets operating on skeleton staffs comprised of managers brought in from other locations and temporary workers. 

Read reporter Alexander Soule’s story on how perishable foods are at risk as Stop & Shop strike persists. 

Also read Columnist Dan Haar’s story on Stop & Shop strikers tell of fighting for better lives 

Brian Gioiele contributed to this article.