Stop & Shop workers in southern New England walked off the job Thursday, after more than 31,000 employees last month authorized their labor leaders to call for a work stoppage amid increasingly strained contract negotiations.
The United Food & Commercial Workers union said in a statement that the walkout began in the afternoon.
“Today, at 1:15 pm, the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1445 members who work at Stop & Shop will be walking off their job,” the release said. “At the same time, UFCW Members at Locals 328, 371, 919, and 1459 will be walking off their jobs at Stop & Shop stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.”
Jeff Bollen, president of UFCW Local 1445, confirmed the work stoppage in a video message posted online.
“Here it is April, [and] we are still miles apart,” Bollen said. “This company has shown us that they do not respect you. They do not respect the hard work that you do every day, and we’re done talking today. We’re going to take action.”
The supermarket company operates 134 stores statewide, according to its website.
In a statement, Stop and Shop said it was “disappointed” its workers had walked off the job.