The Federal Mediator's request for both Stop & Shop and our Union enter into temporary seven-day“cooling off” period is over. We're resuming negotiations today with Stop & Shop.
This is the month we draw a line in the sand. Throughout the last three-months we negotiated in good faith and hoped that Stop & Shop would bargain responsibly. Unfortunately they have not and we are still nowhere near an agreement, especially with Pension and Welfare issues. Stop & Shop is still proposing to withdraw from our multi-employer pension plan, put significant healthcare costs on all full time members and eliminate all part time medical benefits.
The next week will be the ultimate test for you and our union. We will not continue to give Stop & Shop the sweat off our backs for the rest of the holiday season while they refuse to propose a contract you can live with. I urge you to be patient, strong and motivated during this process. Our union's solidarity, strength and commitment will often be tested by Stop & Shop’s management team. Negotiations are scheduled for the remainder of this week and early next week. Just know that we are fighting every second of the day to try and secure not just "any contract" but the best contract we can.
Thank you for the overwhelming support, communication and solidarity. We are grateful to our loyal customers, our local politicians, members of our communities, and all of the other Union’s that have already pledged their support. During this time we all need to stick together. You must try to avoid buying into any management rumors or attempts to undermine this process. Any attempts to separate our union membership must be met with a unified response that we are all together. We need to support one another now more than ever, so again, thank you, for your patience and trust while we stand together and fight for a fair contract from Stop & Shop. Everyone should know that the last thing we ever want to do is to create an economic hardship for any of our members, your communities or your loyal customers.
Thank you again,
Lead Negotiator, UFCW Local 1500