Stop & Shop Prepares for Potential Labor Strike, Hires Replacement Workers

The company is holding discussions with labor representatives as the deadline for a three-year contract nears on Feb. 23.

Representatives of the Stop & Shop grocery store chain are looking to hire temporary replacement workers as it prepares for a potential labor strike, according to a report in the Boston Herald Friday

The Quincy-based company is currently holding contract discussions with United Food and Commercial Workers Union locals who represent more than 40,000 Stop & Shop employees in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, according to the Herald. The three-year contract will expire on Saturday, Feb. 23. 

While discussions continue, the company is running eight hiring sites from Mansfield to Quincy to Woburn.

A Stop & Shop spokeswoman told the Herald that the company is advertising replacement workers "in the event of a dispute" in an effort to "prepare so we can continue to serve our customers and remain open." 

Are you a Stop & Shop customer? How would a strike affect your grocery shopping there? Let us know in the comments section below.

Indiana February 07, 2013 at 02:16 PM
No GR you lost the argument - Only you can throw jabs and insult??? It os about the politics and you know it. Okay then let's got to a RTW state. Would you want that?
Steve C February 07, 2013 at 04:43 PM
MA is a right to work state. That is what protects certain employees from being trapped by non compete clauses. You should do some research. Union members applied for the jobs they hold. They have no right to complain about the company They chose to work for. Go work somewhere else. Don't give me any crap about there not being other jobs as there are plenty in the classifieds. Target, no soliciting policy so no "pan handling".
Steve C February 07, 2013 at 04:48 PM
Code Section Ch. 149 §19, et seq. Policy on Union Membership, Organization, etc. No person shall, by intimidation or force, prevent or seek to prevent a person from entering into or continuing in the employment of any person Prohibited Activity No person shall, himself or by his agent, coerce or compel a person into a written or oral agreement not to join or become a member of a labor organization as a condition of his securing employment or continuing the employment of such person Penalties Legal and equitable relief Why do you all think MA is not a right to work state? It most certainly is.
Gretchen Robinson February 07, 2013 at 04:52 PM
and when do we start up the Debtor's prisons and stupid policies of the Victorial era that whole generations fought to change. Get your minds out of the dark ages. Those ads are often bogus. I had friends looking for work that got called repeatedly to travel to Brockton, Boston, etc. to interview and it was some headhunter looking to fill their quota for the month. They had no job to offer and the unemployed job seeker, their unemployment run out, was out the cost of transportation (train and public transportation). You guys have not one ounce of compassion and even less humility.
Steve C February 07, 2013 at 04:57 PM
Gretchen, To many people in this country feel that a job is beneath them. Maybe someone was making 60k per year and now has to take a 30k a year job. That's life. Work hard everyday and quit bitching about it. I am tired of paying for the unemployed or the underemployed in this country. Our unemployment system is a joke. Unions, of which I am not affiliated, are certainly helpful to lower payed employees and management will always battle them for every penny. Its just the way it is. Without those unions minimum wage would be half what it is now.
Gretchen Robinson February 07, 2013 at 05:05 PM
That is not who I am talking about. I have seen women who stayed in low wage jobs and been harassed and threatened. Try coming out and your tires are slashed or there's black ice between your car and the next (even though the parking lot is dry, because someone poured a gallon of water there and it froze. One man I know had his life threatened because he wasn't Hispanic and 'those jobs' only go to Hispanics. (I'm not be racist here. Hispanics get jobs and don't want to lose them to Anglos). Steve and others, stop making assumptions. I'm talking about people I know personally. Lived experience. One woman, if she hadn't lived with her impoverished widow mother, would have been out on the street. Another woman was making a decent job but was bullied horribly because the employer wanted to put a family member into the woman's position. She'd had excellent job reviews. I agree with you about the rest. But lots of people with college degrees are taking lower jobs just to survive.
Indiana February 07, 2013 at 09:52 PM
Gretchen - that sounds like it was written right off the rachel maddow or chris matthews cue cards. Nice
KMAC February 08, 2013 at 03:00 PM
While I'll agree that it does not take skill to work in a supermarket, why fault those who do? Never intended to offend anyone. What I do find troubling is how we comment without facts. Complain and name call without fully reading (and comprehending) what was said previously. I have no reason to lie,but if you feel better calling me a fraud,that's cool. Food, for thought...if you apply for a job knowing you'll pay union dues, you have a choice. Don't complain after the fact. The union is not paying the salaries of the workers, the company is. The company, made up of corporate people, set the prices we ALL pay. The corporate people are NOT union employees. And you'd fall over if you knew what they were making and their benefit package. And as an FYI many began working at store level, working their way up, those very same union,unskilled cashiers and stock clerks, wow imagine that. When S&S and Shaws were the only games in town they were extremely profitable and opening stores on every corner,hiring,promoting enjoying good times. Did Shaw's not just lay-off 700 people ? Ask anyone who works at either market if they think the prices are high? They pay it too. Corporate greed has alot to do with the prices as well. Don't blame it all on the union. Here's a little tidbit. Of the 160+ Shaw's stores, none of the Vt.,N.H.,ME, stores are union and very few Mass stores are. Can we all just be kind to one another. Not so judgemental.
Brandy G. February 08, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Glad I do my shopping at Hannaford. The trip to Easton is worth it when I buy the same amount of groceries and spend an average of $60 less than at Stop & Shop.
Brandy G. February 08, 2013 at 05:12 PM
I like this comment a lot.
Gretchen Robinson February 08, 2013 at 10:11 PM
those were all people I know. That was the real lived experience of real people who suffeer because of the hate speech and narrowness here. It's horrible out there in the employment world. And it doesn't have to be that way: a race to the bottom (of the pay scale and the lowlife of destroying human decency and the 'right' to make a living wage). Believe whatever you want. But don't parade it here as reality or truth. Keep your head in the sand for all I care.
Gretchen Robinson February 08, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Brandy, I agree. KMAC's comments make a lot of sense. It's so easy to criticize people, workers, unions but it's so cruel and callous. Tearing people down and insulting the dignity and worth of other human beings only makes your comments look sordid. Try lifting people up for a change.
anonymous February 11, 2013 at 01:12 AM
I worked at the stop and shop customer service desk for three years. I have seen it all, for sure. I can tell you, the majority of employees will not be picketing, and have nothing to do with the strike. The only reason they are even in the union is because it is required to work there. They are all high school or college age students just looking to make some money. They are not the ones looking to go on strike. Please do not punish those in the stores and on the front customer lines for things they cannot control. They deal with enough nnoying customers already.
Gretchen Robinson February 11, 2013 at 01:49 AM
I see a lot of employees who do not fit thae demographic of young people. Some of the people in Attleboro have been there for years and are midlife and older, so it's clearly not a fill in job. In any case, it's good to have someone write who has actual experience at a Shop and Stop.
Serves You Right February 11, 2013 at 03:44 AM
So then they will cross the picket lines...these......kids who don't know better?
anonymous February 11, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Yes, many of the employees are midlife and older as well. I can tell you as well though, they have no interest in the strike. Many of the workers have little to no knowledge of the union and how it works, reason being that the union does very little to help makes sure the employees know what benefits they are entitled too. They don't know their own benefits, they can't be mad about them, so they are not the ones supporting this strike.
c mahoney February 12, 2013 at 09:09 PM
roche brothers is a non union supermarket chain and they pay there workers the same amount of money without charging there employees weekly union dues. Roche Brothers gets voted into the top 50 companies to work for in ma every year by the boston globe. If ss had superior people working for them at the top they would not even need a union period. rbs has only about 2o stores yet their stores are much more profitable than stop n shop on a per store basiis.
c mahoney February 12, 2013 at 09:30 PM
instead of voting on a new contract they should be voting to get rid of their union. roche brothers pays there employees an above average pay rate without taking weekly union dues from them. they are also a highly profitable company with employees that have no desire to be in a union because of the fact they are treated better than stop n shop union employees. not all unions are bad they have there place in the work place just not stop and shops.
Donald PH February 14, 2013 at 11:09 PM
Empirical evidence and BS aside,you can bet your very last dollar on one thing, ANY money saved by any Union busting company ,who by the way entered into that agreement because they wanted to, NOT because they were forced to (like at gun point) will NEVER use any of that so called savings to improve the service that you are already happy with, they will use it to improve their own well being..NOt yours OR their current or future employees, who incidently MADE THEM WHO THEY ARE.
Gretchen Robinson February 15, 2013 at 02:30 AM
Donald PH, you are right. As I wrote earlier, for workers it's a race to the bottom. Employees are just the means to acrue more wealth and unions are the only way that, historically, workers have achieved the 5-day work week and other progressive rights. Most here know little history. It's a noble history. A struggle for dignity, safe working places, a living wage. If my father's carpenter's union hadn't taken care of him, my family wouldn't have survived. Those who don't know history are condemned to repeat it.
Indiana February 15, 2013 at 05:12 PM
Does your drivel have no end?
Gretchen Robinson February 15, 2013 at 06:55 PM
Indiana, I will suggest, again, that your name calling affects how people view your postings more than it does mine. And why make a personal attack? I have the same right to express my opinion as you. Keep it general.
Indiana February 15, 2013 at 08:05 PM
Gretchen I do not care how people view my postings. Sometimes I vote republican sometimes democrat and sometimes indie...I do not need answers to topics to feel warm and fuzzy inside, sometimes things just happen because they do. Do not need to read theories,hypothesis etc...I am socially liberal but strong fiscal conservative. I know I am not right some of the time but say what I feel. Just want people to fend for themselves and if you feel good about yourself the end of the day - great
Gretchen Robinson February 15, 2013 at 08:13 PM
Well, I would appreciate it if you didn't go out of the way to attack what I say. It' gets monotonous. And civility is a good thing. I wouldn't be here if I didn't know how to fend for myself. I don't write to vent or feel good about myself. Maybe we all should stop with the smack-downs that I've experienced from you and others in the past. This should be an open forum and some of the lack of respect here (from many who post or have in the past--this has been more civil than before the election) turns off writers who want to share their ideas but don't want withering critiques or their ideas, and them personally. Think about it.
ruby 13 February 15, 2013 at 09:04 PM
Not one person has mentioned..Hannaford's. I would consider checking it out...I have shopped there since they opened a few yrs. ago and have been hooked ever since. Their prices cannot be beat...except by Market Basket. I have shopped at Shaws, S&S, Roche Bros....and Hannaford beats them all in almost every single dept. and product. I shop and cook for a family of five and cannot believe how much I get for the dollars spent. I also buy alot of store brand items...and know from a retired family member and former employee of the HP Hood Co. that most store brand items are quality brands with Hannaford's store brand bought and paid for....most items are usually anywhere from .50 to $1.00 cheaper. I hope I never have to consider shopping elsewhere. It is owned by Demoulas which owns Market Basket as well. Go try it out....you WILL see unbeleivable price reductions from any other grocery chain.
ruby 13 February 15, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Totally agree with you Chris....S&S has and always has had very high prices...at least a dollar if not more on most items.
Jerry Chase February 15, 2013 at 09:08 PM
We're getting there . . . no thanks to the bozos who voted for the incumbent last Nov..
Indiana February 15, 2013 at 09:12 PM
Fair enough Gretchen...the election has turned everybody's ire to new levels. We are becoming Europe and that is not a good thing. I do not want to wish years away but cannot wait for 2016 and a new leader whether dem or repub will be good. Give me a Bill Clinton again and I am fine
Jerry Chase February 15, 2013 at 09:18 PM
The supermarket business is very competitive, and with fairly-high overhead due to long hours of operations and lots of perishable items . . . to say little or nothing about the legal obligations regarding a host of things. I doubt that owners have yachts and things; though this is not to say that stockholders in publicly-traded holding companies which operate supermarkets (and other things) don't own them. The economy needs investors . . . who will, if they can, depending on their own personal goals, will vary in the types of securities to which they invest. The way I look at markets is sort of how I see my dentist: I'm mighty glad to have them around. I guarantee everyone that I'll get hungry next week, and "ya gotta eat somethin'." Would anybody wish to see food and other essentials become scarce or more difficult to obtain? Not me. Sometimes businesses get involved in labor disputes or disagreements. So do other businesses. Frankly, it happens less now than in the 1950s and 60s. BTW, I remain proud to be a pro-union man . . . and a Republican, no less. Go figure!
Chris A February 16, 2013 at 01:30 AM
That's pretty much the way I recall many viewing the union when I worked a few years for them. I was paying a good chunk of my check that I could've used for other things and never had much contact with them.


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