In a last minute attempt to avoid a possible work stoppage at a major New York area supermarket chain two days before Thanksgiving, the Federal Mediator has insisted both sides enter into temporary seven-day “cooling off” period. During which neither the union nor the company is allowed to take retaliatory actions against each other.
This agreement comes at the heels of Thanksgiving, and days after hundreds of Stop & Shop members met to begin preparing for either a Union sanctioned strike or a lockout. It ensures all of us can enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday with the peace of mind, that we will not be on the streets with picket signs, and instead will be with those who matter most to us, enjoying time with loved ones on Thanksgiving.
We are currently working without a contract due to the company's refusal to sign additional short-term contract extensions. We are taking the responsible step of agreeing to the Federal Mediator’s request, the temporary “cooling off period” means there will be no work stoppages called by either UFCW Local 1500 or Stop & Shop management for the next seven days.
“It is our hope that this temporary truce between our Union and Stop & Shop will ultimately lead to an acceptable conclusion for the members of Local 1500. All we want is what we earned: a fair contract that protects our health care, pensions, and Part-Time workers,” said lead negotiator for our union, Tony Speelman. These negotiations have been like no other, and I thank all of you for your patience, faith and support during them. We’re fighting every single day to secure the best contract that protects 6,000 of our most committed union-members,” Speelman concluded.
Greg Pasquale, Stop & Shop Negotiating Committee member and Produce Manager for the Stop and Shop located in Beekman, NY, wanted to extend his thanks to the public and his fellow members- “Thank you for the overwhelming support and solidarity for Stop & Shop members. We are grateful to our loyal customers, the local politicians, members of the community, and the other Union’s that have pledged their support. During this time we all need to stick together. We cannot believe management’s rumors, and attempts to separate our union, we need to support one another more than ever, so thank you, for your patience while we stand up to Stop & Shop’s proposals. We want everyone to know that the last thing we ever want to do is inconvenience shoppers, lose pay, or create economic hardship for our communities.”