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Stop & Shop workers strike outside of one of the grocery stores on April 20, 2019 in Westport, Connecticut. (Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

'When Workers Fight, Workers Win': Union Declares Victory as Stop & Shop Strike Ends With Deal to Raise Wages

"Stop & Shop workers sent a message to their company by collectively standing up for themselves, their families, and good jobs, that resonated not only with the company, but all of America."

Jake Johnson

The union representing tens of thousands of striking Stop & Shop workers declared victory Sunday after it reached a tentative agreement with management to increase wages and preserve employee benefits that were under threat.

"The people, united, will never be defeated. Thank you to the Stop & Shop workers for your sacrifices and all those who showed up in solidarity."
—Rep. Ayanna Pressley

"Today is a powerful victory for the 31,000 hardworking men and women of Stop & Shop who courageously stood up to fight for what all New Englanders want—good jobs, affordable healthcare, a better wage, and to be treated right by the company they made a success," the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) said in a statement.

The deal brings to an end the largest private-sector strike in years, which lasted 11 days and spanned three New England states. The walk-out began as a protest against Stop & Shop's effort to slash benefits and increase employees' healthcare costs.

Union members—who are expected to return to work Monday—will soon vote on whether to approve the three-year agreement, which reportedly raises wages, preserves retirement and healthcare benefits, and upholds time-and-a-half pay on Sundays.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a 2020 presidential candidate who joined striking Stop & Shop workers on the picket line earlier this month, celebrated the tentative deal in a tweet on Sunday.

"When workers fight, workers win," the senator wrote. "I'm glad to see that Stop & Shop workers are returning to work with an agreement for higher wages and continued health and pension benefits."

Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) echoed Warren, tweeting: "The people, united, will never be defeated. Thank you to the Stop & Shop workers for your sacrifices and all those who showed up in solidarity."

The agreement came as the strike's major impact on Stop & Shop operations was becoming more evident by the day.

As the Boston Globe reported, "visits to the grocery chain by regular customers dropped by a whopping 75 percent" in the first few days of the walk-out.

"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," said UFCW.


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