Stop & Shop Contract Talks Extended

Stop & Shop and the union representing about 40,000 supermarket workers in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have extended negotiations for a week, but the union is preparing for a possible strike.

Negotiations between New Englands's largest grocery chain and its workers broke down on Saturday night, just hours before their contract expired. The two sides agreed to extend the contract through next weekend and will resume talks on Tuesday.

"We're disappointed they took a strike authorization vote, but we're committed to continuing to negotiate until we reach a fair agreement," company spokesperson Faith Weiner said.  "It's business as usual in all our stores."

Brian Petronella, president of the union's Local 371 in Connecticut, said Sunday the two parties are far apart on wages, health care and pensions. He would not be specific but added that union locals are scheduling votes authorizing a strike if needed.

About 15,000 union members are in Connecticut and about 80 percent are part-time workers.

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