Union declares victory as Stop & Shop strike ends with deal to raise wages: 'When workers fight, workers win'

Union declares victory as Stop & Shop strike ends with deal to raise wages: 'When workers fight, workers win'
Royalty-free stock photo ID: 238359982 portrait shop assistants in supermarket store.

The union representing tens of thousands of striking Stop & Shop workers declared victory Sunday after it reached a tentative agreement with management to increase wages and preserve employee benefits that were under threat.


"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 healthcare, a better wage, and to be treated right by the company they made a success," the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) said in a statement.

The deal brings to an end the largest private-sector strike in years, which lasted 11 days and spanned three New England states. The walk-out began as a protest against Stop & Shop's effort to slash benefits and increase employees' healthcare costs.

Union members—who are expected to return to work Monday—will soon vote on whether to approve the three-year agreement, which reportedly raises wages, preserves retirement and healthcare benefits, and upholds time-and-a-half pay on Sundays.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a 2020 presidential candidate who joined striking Stop & Shop workers on the picket line earlier this month, celebrated the tentative deal in a tweet on Sunday.

"When workers fight, workers win," the senator wrote. "I'm glad to see that Stop & Shop workers are returning to work with an agreement for higher wages and continued health and pension benefits."

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) echoed Warren, tweeting: "The people, united, will never be defeated. Thank you to the Stop & Shop workers for your sacrifices and all those who showed up in solidarity."

The agreement came as the strike's major impact on Stop & Shop operations was becoming more evident by the day.

As the Boston Globe reported, "visits to the grocery chain by regular customers dropped by a whopping 75 percent" in the first few days of the walk-out.

"We are incredibly grateful to our customers and everyone who proudly stood together with us every day for a contract that invests in the communities we serve, and makes Stop & Shop a better place to work and a better place to shop," said UFCW.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.