Late Sunday night came word that the Stop & Shop strike is likely over. Mel Bartovic, the Wilton store’s produce manager who serves as the deputy union captain for the roughly 150 employees in the Wilton location, contacted GOOD Morning Wilton with the news that the company and the United Food and Commercial Workers unions have come to a tentative agreement.
“As of Monday morning associates will be reporting back to work and not a picket line,” Bartovic wrote in a text.
The company confirmed the news in an announcement on its website. “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. We’re also glad to have our associates return to work as the strike has ended.”
The strike began 10 days ago, as those Stop & Shop employees walked away from their posts in a dispute over wages and health benefits. Contract negotiations started in December, and store associates had been working without a contract since February. Employees went on strike when talks ended April 11 without the parties reaching any agreement.
According to the company statement, tonight’s tentative three-year agreement is subject to ratification votes by members of each of the union locals. The new agreement includes:
- Increased pay for all associates
- Continued health coverage for eligible associates
- Ongoing defined benefit pension benefits for all eligible associates
“Our associates’ top priority will be restocking our stores so we can return to taking care of our customers and communities and providing them with the service they deserve. We deeply appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers during this time, and we look forward to welcoming them back to Stop & Shop.”
Locally, Bartovic wanted to communicate the Wilton employees’ thanks to the community.
“I personally want to thank you and all the support the Wilton Community has provided us in this time. It is because of all the support and pressure from the communities [where] our stores are located that the company has been moved along into making a deal.”