UPDATE, 6:45 p.m.–Following the arrest of a customer at the Wilton Stop & Shop, GMW contacted Mel Bartovic, the assistant captain for the employees at the Wilton location. She wasn’t present at the time, but was briefed by the union captain on the incident.
In a text to GMW, Bartovic writes, “The person in question was angry approaching. Swearing at us saying we should just get another job. Why couldn’t be apply ourselves better in life. Stuff like that. She was getting aggressive towards an employee and that employee asked someone to record it so we were covered, as we were not inciting the incident. Someone who was on their phone and not even recording, was approached and the individual swung/tried to knock phone out of their hand.
That associate was obviously upset that their personal space was violated. The customer entered the store and was escorted out by the store manager when another customer leaving the business started to antagonize the individual again. As a result police were called.”
She added that while striking employees have a “presence at the entrance to the plaza, we’re barely talking to customers entering the building now.”
With the strike hitting its 7th day on Wednesday, she said there have been customers who have supported their efforts, offering encouragement and even bringing food and coffee. “There is a young kid in town, Collin, he brought us hot cocoa one of the first nights when it was cold out.”
There are also shoppers who do not support the striking workers.
“Those who support us really support us. Some who don’t are pretending like they don’t see us at all. By no means do we want to upset or offend anyone in town. When we go back in, we need our customers to come back and support us in that way. We totally get that. I have personally asked everyone I’ve talked to their name and thanked them. And introduced myself. I love this town and I’m sorry the chaos this [has caused]. We’re hopeful the company and the unions will come to an agreement soon.”
ORIGINAL STORY, 5 p.m.–Earlier today, on Tuesday, April 16, at approximately 12:30 p.m., the Wilton Police Department responded to a disturbance in front of Stop & Shop at 5 River Rd., between striking employees and a customer. Upon their arrival, police officers learned that 30-yr.-old Bridgeport resident Shabrina Fudd got into a verbal altercation with the Stop & Shop employees protesting in front of the store.
According to a release from the Wilton police information officer, Lt. Robert Kluk, Fudd became angry when she was being video recorded by a protester. Fudd allegedly then grabbed the phone being used to record her out of the protester’s hand while still yelling at them.
No injuries were reported during the altercation and Fudd was removed from the premises.
Fudd was issued a misdemeanor summons in the field for 2nd degree breach of peace in violation of CT General Statute 53a-181 with a court date of April 30 in Norwalk Superior court.