Stop & Shop, workers reach tentative contract agreement

Boston MA- 4/21/19 Stop & Shop employees and their supporters continue to strike in front of the South Bay store in Dorchester

Boston MA- 4/21/19 Stop & Shop employees and their supporters continue to strike in front of the South Bay store in Dorchester

Stop & Shop workers are back on the job across New England, including in Connecticut, after an agreement was reached following an 11-day strike by 31,000 union workers in Connecticut, Rhode Island and MA.

The tentative 3-year deal - which still must be ratified by unions -includes increased pay, and continued health coverage and ongoing defined benefit pension benefits for eligible workers, Stop & Shop said.

"We are very pleased to announce Stop & Shop has reached fair new tentative agreements with UFCW Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445 and 1459, which represent our 31,000 associates in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island", said Jennifer Brogan, a spokeswoman for Stop & Shop.

It is subject to ratification votes by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union local groups, the company said.

In the meantime, 31,000 Stop & Shop employees are heading back to work for the first time in over a week.

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The company limited its offerings amid the strikes. A number of rabbis in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island advised their congregations not to cross picket lines.

"The food that you're buying is the product of oppressed labor and that's not kosher", Rabbi Barbara Penzner, of Temple Hillel B'nai Torah, a reconstructionist synagogue in Boston, said last week.

Stop & Shop was hit particularly hard by the strike during the Christian Holy Week, where thousands of customers were forced to do their holiday shopping elsewhere.

Multiple public figures came out in support of the workers.

Former vice president Joe Biden speaks at a rally in support of striking Stop & Shop workers in Boston, Thursday, April 18, 2019. Bourque apologized for crossing the line and promised to walk the picket line in solidarity with Stop & Shop workers once his medical issue was resolved.

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