As Stop & Shop workers in Southern New England enter the sixth day of a strike, the supermarket chain has added police presence and additional security officers across stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
The security and police officers have been added to "ensure the safety of our workers and the safety of our customers who continue to shop at our stores," Stop & Shop spokesperson Jennifer Brogan said.
More than 31,000 Stop & Shop employees from more than 240 stores in the three states are on strike and some of the 92 stores in Connecticut are staying open with minimal non-union staff.
“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,” a joint statement from the five locals of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union that are striking says.
After the strike began, officials from Stop & Shop released a statement that said, in part: “Given that negotiations with assistance of the federal mediators are continuing, we are disappointed that the UFCW chose to order a work stoppage in an attempt to disrupt service at our stores. Stop & Shop has contingency plans in place to minimize disruption,” a statement from Stop & Shop says.
Officials from Stop & Shop said negotiations are continuing with the UFCW union locals, again with the support of federal mediators.
Some Stop & Shop locations are donating perishable products during the strike. The Groton Senior Center said they've reaped the benefits.
“They said yes, they will donate perishables all week for us," Supervisor Mary Jo Riley said.
Riley said they got bananas and baked goods from their local store which they'll share with the community.