Greetings Sisters and Brothers,
We are in the process of concluding our 3rd negotiations session this week at the bargaining table. Please be aware that we can report that some progress has occurred relative to the “language” issues we have been dealing with. The Employer has submitted as of yesterday a partial economic package to all 5 Locals. I can tell you, that in all the negotiations I have been involved in, this is by far the most devastating set of proposals ever submitted. Without being able to go into great detail via this writing, many important benefits such as Health & Welfare/Pension are being threatened! It would appear to us that Stop & Shop is seeking great concessions from you during a time when they most definitely do not NEED to demand such outrageous desires. At stake, Union benefits in general, including premium pay, Sunday time and a half, health and welfare premiums, along with cutting pension benefits for all.
The bigger picture we are seeing is that your Employer appears to have desires on gutting your Union Contract. Your Employer is NOT recognizing your hard work which reflects directly on its healthy profits. It would appear to all of us at these negotiations that Stop & Shop is acting as a company teetering on bankruptcy rather than the flourishing leader of the grocery industry of which they enjoy a lucrative standing. None of what your Company is seeking is needed! These proposals are generated from Corporate Greed. It is also our belief that Stop & Shop’s parent group Ahold, while undertaking a huge acquisition of Delhaize stores, is merely trying to set the tone to get the 240 stores covered by these contracts more in line with the non-union stores of Delhaize.
By now you all should have seen various postings of our upcoming meeting on February 28th. The agenda is set to: Accept or Reject your Employer’s proposal. If the vote is to reject, then a Strike Vote will be taken. We are hoping that we are able to secure a proposal settlement worthy of your acceptance. Please know that we do not enjoy putting additional stress on you and your families. We do not take lightly the issue of a strike. We are working diligently in unison with all the New England Locals in order to avoid any such unpleasant actions. These are the “tools” we have in order to ensure your Employer of our desire to remain Strong and United. We know that past practice has proven that when we “Act Like a Union” your Employer will respect you more.
I would ask that you stick together, and continue to do the outstanding work you do every day in your stores in taking care of your customers. Remember, our Unity is our Strength and our Strength is our Unity.
Stay tuned to our updates, talk with your Business Agent, or call the Union office. Should the need arise to cancel our scheduled meeting on February 28th due to the lack of a proper settlement offer, we will do the best we can to give you as much advance notice as possible.
For The Opportunity of Serving You
I Am Sincerely and Fraternally,