Good afternoon brothers and sisters,
It has been an interesting week of bargaining to say the least. First off we met twice with your employer this week. This was the first meeting with the Company since all five locals had taken strike authorizations from their respective memberships.
We all hoped that with all five locals ready to strike that the Company would change their attitude, we quickly learned that would not be the case. After responding with yet another disappointing proposal, all local unions responded by telling the Company that this was not acceptable and that if this type of behavior continued that they would be facing an imminent strike.
Also joining us at the meetings this week were our international brothers and sisters, representing Ahold Delhaize workers in Belgium and the Netherlands who flew into Providence this week to address Stop & Shop directly at the table, calling their actions “shocking,” “scandalous,” and “disrespectful.”
We were then told by the Company that it was their intention to not just get to a fair contract, but one that would be acceptable for our members to accept. After returning, the Company did make some adjustments to their proposals in an effort to move the process forward. We felt that this was a good start, but that was short lived.
By the end of the day on Thursday the Company asked to meet with the individual locals to discuss Health and Welfare. The proposals that the Company offered were still the same high cost high deductible plans that would result in less coverage and more out of pocket cost for our members.
All five locals made the same point with the Company and told them that this was not what our memberships would ever accept or agree to ratify. We told the Company at our last bargaining session that we remain dedicated to our members to secure a FAIR deal, but we strongly suggested that they had better rethink and rework their proposals to reflect the profitable company they are.
I will take the time next week to visit your stores and speak with you personally about the Company’s proposals which were described by our friends from Belgium and the Netherlands as “scandalous and disgraceful”.
I ask that everyone remain strong and prepare for any job action that may take place. This is not something that I take lightly, but if the Company’s behavior does not improve, I feel that they will leave me with no other choice. As we have suggested in the past, we remind you to keep appropriate clothing in your car in the event of a job action.
Thank you for continuing to stand united for a deal that respects you, your families, and customers, and the communities you work hard to serve.
I ask for your continued support for me and each other.
Sincerely and fraternally yours,