Western Massachusetts Stop & Shop workers considering strike authorization

Hampden County

Unionized workers at Stop & Shop supermarkets in western Massachusetts will vote this weekend on whether to accept a new contract with the supermarket chain, or whether to authorize a strike.

Members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1459 are scheduled to hold a vote during a meeting Sunday morning.  This vote will come two weeks after UFCW Local 1445, which represents workers in the Boston area, decided to authorize a strike.

A strike authorization vote would not mean that a strike is imminent, but does allow a strike to be called by the union if their contract dispute with Stop & Shop continues. The dispute centers around health insurance benefits, pensions, and vacation time.

Stop & Shop says it has offered proposals that “would ensure full-time associates continued to be among the highest paid food retail workers in the region.” Both the supermarket chain and five union locals have been in negotiations since January.

Sunday’s meeting is being held at the Castle of Knights in Chicopee at 10:00 A.M.

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