Stop & Shop union employees say the company needs to invest in their employees and the community - or workers could strike, if necessary.
At a union meeting Sunday morning, members of UFCW Local 1445 authorized the use of a strike as company and organized labor representatives hammer out a contract with Stop & Shop officials, according to a union press statement issued this morning.
Union officials claim Stop & Shop's foreign-owned parent company, Ahold Delhaize, has profited through tax cuts and is buying back company stock, instead of adequately reinvesting in workers.
"The company is looking to completely degrade the quality of life of Local 1445 members by demanding huge unnecessary concessions such as quadrupling costs of healthcare, and attacking their pensions," wrote union officials.
UFCW Local 1445 represents nearly 10,000 Stop & Shop workers.
Ahold Delhaize has repurchased billions of dollars in shares through a multiyear buyback program. Since 2010, the company has returned approximately $7 billion Euro (or about $8 billion in today's U.S. dollars), according to the company's website.
A company spokesman for Stop & Shop was not immediately available for comment on the union vote.