Stop and Shop Supermarket Workers Stand Down on Thanksgiving Strike; Holiday Season Work Stoppage Looms
Union Accepts Federal Mediators Request for Brief "Cooling Off" Period
WESTBURY, NY (11/26/2013)(readMedia)-- In a last minute attempt to avoid a possible work stoppage at a major New York area supermarket chain two days before Thanksgiving, United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 (UFCW) has agreed to a request by a Federal Mediator to enter into temporary "cooling off" period with Stop and Shop Supermarkets. This agreement comes less than twenty four hours after hundreds of Stop and Shop members met with Union leadership to begin preparing for either a Union sanctioned strike or a lockout of the employees by Stop and Shop management.
Over 6,000 UFCW Local 1500 members employed by Stop and Shop are currently working without a contract due to the company's refusal to sign additional short term contract extensions. Affected employees are employed by Stop and Shop Supermarkets operating in Long Island, the five boroughs, Westchester, Putnam and Duchess Counties.
"Consumers, workers and dozens of communities throughout the area that had been holding their breath waiting to see if their Thanksgiving shopping plans would have to be diverted to other supermarkets can now exhale" said Anthony Speelman, Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW Local 1500 and lead negotiator for the Union's Stop and Shop Negotiating Committee. "The Union is taking the responsible step of agreeing to the Federal Mediators request for a temporary cooling off period between the two parties. There will be no work stoppages called by either UFCW Local 1500 or Stop and Shop management over the Thanksgiving weekend," Speelman continued. "It is our hope that this "cooling off " agreement will ultimately lead to an acceptable conclusion for the members of Local 1500. All they want is what they have earned: a fair and decent contract," Speelman concluded.
UFCW Local 1500 members were glad shoppers would not be inconvenienced and appreciative of their support.
"My Union and its 23,000 members want to thank the public for their overwhelming support for the Stop and Shop employees" said Greg Pasquale, Produce Manager for the Stop and Shop located in Beekman, NY. "We are grateful to our loyal customers, the local politicians, members of the community and the other Unions that have pledged their support. We want everyone to know that the last thing we ever want to do is inconvenience shoppers, lose pay or create economic hardship for our communities. We wish all of our customers a Happy Thanksgiving" Pasquale concluded.
United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, based out of Westbury, New York represents grocery workers in New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties. Members of Local 1500 are employed by A&P/Pathmark, Fairway, Stop and Shop, Gristedes, D'Agostinos, Key Food, Shop Rite and King Kullen. Stay up to date with UFCW Local 1500 on twitter@ufcw1500, facebook.com/ufcw1500, www.ufcw1500.org.