WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – 24-year-old Stop & Shop employee and West Springfield resident William Harder is one of 31,000 Stop & Shop workers who don’t know when their next paycheck will be.
William was one of multiple workers picketing outside Stop & Shop in West Springfield Wednesday morning due to contract disputes with the company involving cuts in employee wages and benefits.
He said he has applied for unemployment but has yet to hear back.
“I heard we can apply for food stamps. I might look into that later but it’s kind of embarassing. I’m just a 24-year-old kid, pretty much, who has to apply for all these things I never thought I would have to do that,” Harder said.
22News left messages for Local United Food and Commercial Workers Associations but we did not hear back before news time.
The Stop & Shop strike has had a big impact on New England stores, affecting 240 supermarkets.
“I never thought this day would come. I thought they would appreciate us as employees and keep this company going,” said 30-year-old Stop & Shop employee Sheila Mais.
Stop & Shop President Mark McGowan said in a letter that most stores will remain open for 12 hours, 7 days a week.