Business

Stop & Shop Strike Cost Company About $100 Million

The supermarket chain and the union representing its thousands of employees in New England came to a tentative agreement on Sunday

The owners of New England's largest supermarket chain are projecting around $100 million in losses from the labor strike that ended Easter Sunday.

Ahold Delhaize, the Dutch company that owns Stop & Shop, said the 11-day strike is expected to lead to profit losses between $90 million and $110 million.

The company says generally lower sales, lost revenue from "seasonal and perishable inventory" and supply chain costs were the main drivers. It said the strike will also mean its 2019 operating margins will be "slightly" lower than 2018.

The grocery store and the union representing employees came to a tentative 3-year agreement on Sunday after nearly two weeks of deliberation. Nearly 31,000 employees from Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut returned to work Monday after walking off the job on April 11 to protest stalled negotiations between the company and the United Food and Commercial Workers union.

The prospective deal promises employees increased pay and continued benefits for those who are eligible. Union members are voting on the proposal Wednesday and Thursday.

Numerous presidential candidates, including former Vice President Joe Biden, joined striking workers on the picket lines to show their support.

Stop & Shop released a statement saying it was thankful for its customers' patience throughout the strike.

"We are incredibly grateful to our customers and everyone who proudly stood together with us every day for a contract that invests in the communities we serve and makes Stop & Shop a better place to work and a better place to shop," the company said.

UFCW called the agreement a "victory" for the employees who were on strike.

"Under this proposed contract, our members will be able to focus on continuing to help customers in our communities enjoy the best shopping experience possible and to keep Stop & Shop the number one grocery store in New England," the union's statement read.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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