What the Stop & Shop Strike Means for You and Your Groceries

More than 31,000 Stop & Shop employees are on strike and desk employees may be called in to replace cashiers and stockers in the meantime

What to Know

  • Thousands of Stop & Shop employees are on strike in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut in protest of stalled negotiations.
  • Temporary employees may be called in to replace the workers who are on strike.
  • Even if grocery stores are closed, pharmacies and banks will operate at their normal schedules.

Thousands of Stop & Shop employees are on strike to protest stalled negotiations between the grocery store and the union, but what does that mean for you?

With employees in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island picketing, a few stores were temporarily closed on Thursday. Even the 24-hour Quincy, Massachusetts location was closed for several hours in wake of the strike.

Customers may have to face a choice when they show up at Stop & Shop stores. They may have to cross the picket line, as was the case in Somerville, Massachusetts. However, it is unclear which locations are participating in the strike.

There are 415 stores across the Northeast, but the strike only affects 240 locations in the three states.

The Boston Globe reports some locations will be getting temporary employees during the strike. Desk employees may be called in to replace stockers and cashiers, the Globe reports.

Even if the grocery store is closed, banks and pharmacies in each Stop & Shop location will reportedly still be open at regular hours. 

Those who order their groceries online via Peapod may experience some delays, according to the Globe.

Contracts between the grocery store chain and the store employees, who are represented by five United Food & Commercial Workers unions, ended on Feb. 23. However, negotiations have been stalled for some time.

In late February, UFCW authorized the use of a strike. The union and grocery store have disputed over health insurance, pensions and vacation time.

Stop & Shop expressed disappointment in the strike.

"Additionally, this morning the company made several suggestions to the federal mediators to encourage further bargaining," the statement said. "The mediators gave those proposals to the locals late in the morning. The locals provided no counter proposals to the mediators and simply stated they were proceeding with their plans."

The strike has caught the eyes of two 2020 Democratic presidential contenders. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she will join Somerville workers at the picket line on Friday. Meanwhile, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker issued a statement saying he is standing in solidarity with the workers.

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