Union Contract Covering over 5,500 Members Set to Expire Midnight Sunday
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 (UFCW), New York State's largest grocery workers union, will ask over 5,500 Stop and Shop Supermarket workers for the authority to call a Union strike that could come as early as next Sunday, November 3rd. The strike authorization meetings will take place Monday night October 28th in Nassau and Westchester Counties. The strike vote is being taken in response to Stop and Shops attempts to drastically reduce employee healthcare benefits and, for some workers, eliminate them completely.
Effected members are employed by Stop and Shop Supermarkets operating in Long Island, the five boroughs, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties.
The current collective bargaining agreement with Stop and Shop expired on September 28th, 2013 but both parties agreed to two contract extensions. The most recent extension is set to expire on November 2nd, 2013.
"The Affordable Care Act (ACA) was not passed with the intent of eliminating an employers responsibility to provide affordable and comprehensive healthcare to its employees," said Anthony Speelman, Local 1500's Secretary Treasurer and lead negotiator for the Union's Stop and Shop bargaining committee. " Stop and Shop seems to think the ACA is an opportunity to achieve three goals: increase their profits, pick their employees pockets and undermine the Union contract. That type of irresponsible bargaining will only lead to three conclusions: a work stoppage, unnecessary inconvenience for their customers and devastating economic damage to hundreds of New York communities," Speelman continued.
"The Union came to the bargaining table in good faith understanding that we would have to make changes to our Health Fund to be compliant under the legal requirements of the ACA and there is no question that the ACA has presented unprecedented challenges," Speelman stated. "However, there are solutions. The Union's solutions will address both sides' economic needs. Stop and Shop's solutions will only address their greed," Speelman concluded.
The meetings being held Monday nights are at the following locations:
- 7:00 PM, Long Island Marriott in Uniondale (by Nassau Coliseum) 101 James Doolittle Blvd, Uniondale, NY
- 7:30 PM Holiday Inn, 1 Holiday Inn Drive, Mt. Kisco, NY
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, based out of Westbury, New York represents grocery workers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties. Members of Local 1500 are employed by A&P/Pathmark, Fairway, Stop and Shop, Gristedes, D'Agastino, Key Food, Shop Rite and King Kullen. Stay up to date with UFCW Local 1500 on twitter @ufcw1500, facebook.com/ufcw1500, www.ufcw1500.org.