BOSTON (CBS) – Stop & Shop workers are back at the bargaining table with the company and federal mediators, Stop & Shop confirmed Saturday.
Negotiations ended Saturday night without an agreement being reached. However, talks are scheduled to resume Sunday morning Stop & Shop spokesperson Jennifer Brogan said.
An official statement released Saturday by the company said, “The UFCW local unions and Stop & Shop continued negotiations today on new contracts for Stop & Shop’s 31,000 associates in New England. Discussions are scheduled to resume on Sunday morning (April 14). We will continue to provide updates as this situation develops.”
United Food & Commercial Workers union members from several locals walked off the job Thursday, with some customers saying they were told to leave their groceries behind and exit stores.
Employees are unhappy with the company’s proposed changes to retirement plans and health insurance, as well as the addition of self-checkouts and robots in stores. The union is asking people not to shop at the chain.
“The men and women who make Stop & Shop a success have earned and deserve affordable health care, a good wage, and the ability to retire with dignity,” the leaders of five locals said in an emailed statement. “They have earned and deserve a good job that allows them to do what they do best: provide the very best customer service for New England communities.”
More than 31,000 employees authorized union leaders to call for a strike. Quincy-based Stop & Shop, a division of Dutch supermarket giant Ahold Delhaize, has 415 stores across the Northeast but the strike affects 240 stores in the three states.
Brogan told WBZ-TV Friday the majority of those 240 stores remain open, with most operating on modified hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. All banks and pharmacies in the stores are open, but all gas stations will remain closed.
“Let’s get back to bargaining now on a new contract. Our associates, our customers and the communities we serve deserve nothing less,” President Mark McGowan said in a statement Saturday.