Following is for release by UFCW Local 1500
Grocery Workers Union Request Federal Mediator Intercede In Negotiations
Stop and Shop Supermarket's Refusal To Sign Contract Extension Triggers Request
The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 (UFCW), New York State's largest grocery workers Union, has requested that the Federal government appoint a mediator to intervene in labor negotiations with Stop and Shop Supermarket. The UFCW is taking this action in an attempt avert a Union strike or company lockout that could affect over 5,500 employees. Local 1500 members employed by Stop and Shop are currently working without a contract due to the company's refusal to sign a two week Union contract extension.
Affected employees are employed by Stop and Shop Supermarkets operating in Long Island, the five boroughs, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties.
"Stop and Shop Supermarkets' refusal to sign the two week contract extension offered by the Union leaves consumers, workers and dozens of communities throughout the area holding their breath waiting to see if Stop and Shop will lock out its employees," said Anthony Speelman, Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW Local 1500 and lead negotiator for the Union's Stop and Shop Negotiating Committee. "The Union is taking the responsible step of asking for a Federal Mediator to enter the negotiations in hopes of avoiding what would be an economically devastating work stoppage. The Union is also publicly committing to consumers that it will not call for a strike until a Federal Mediator has had an opportunity to help the parties reach an agreement. Stop and Shop must now step up and take the necessary responsible steps to resolve this dispute," Speelman concluded.
The potential work stoppage by the workers is due to Stop and Shop management's attempt to drastically reduce their employee healthcare benefits and, for some workers, eliminate them completely.
"My Union and its 23,000 members want to thank the public for their overwhelming support for the Stop and Shop employees" said Greg Pasquale, Produce Manager for the Stop and Shop located in Beekman, NY. "We are grateful to our loyal customers, the local politicians, members of the community and the other Unions that have pledged to honor our picket lines if Stop and Shop locks us out or forces a strike. We want everyone to know that the last thing we want to do is inconvenience shoppers, lose pay or create economic hardship for our communities. Sadly, it does not appear Stop and Shop management shares our concerns," Pasquale concluded.
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'Agostinos, Key Food, Shop Rite and King Kullen. Stay up to date with UFCW Local 1500 on twitter@ufcw1500, facebook.com/ufcw1500,www.ufcw1500.org.