QUINCY, Mass. (AP) - Supermarket and labor union officials are resuming negotiations as workers in southern New England are on their third day of a walkout.
"We're not asking for more," Aliza Lavoie, who is an employee at Stop & Shop, said. "We're just asking for what's owed to us."
A Stop & Shop spokeswoman confirmed contract talks with the United Food and Commercial Workers resumed Saturday afternoon with federal mediators involved.
Thousands of unionized workers for Stop & Shop walked off the job on Thursday over what they say is an unfair contract offer.
Many have formed picket lines around some 240 Stop & Shop locations in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The Quincy, Massachusetts-based company has kept most locations open by hiring temporary workers.
Saturdays are typically the busiest days for grocery shopping. Eyewitness News visited several locations and many parking lots were eerily empty on Saturday.
"Lots of support. It's been amazing," Jessica Benn, who is an employee at Stop & Shop, said.
The company says its proposal includes across-the-board raises and health and pension benefits better than most food retailers. But the union says raises would be eaten up by higher health care costs.
"I'm actually very disappointed that they're not following through with what they promised us as far as benefits," Lavoie said.
While shoppers donated food like pizza and donuts and drinks, there has also been tension.
In Manchester, Eyewitness News learned police presented this letter to employees Friday.
This letter shows police have the permission to remove employees from the Stop & Shop parking lot.
Far from the store's doors, they're picket line is on the corner of this shopping plaza.
"It was Stop & Shop that did that. I think it was the store manager, whatever," Andrew Royce, who is an employee at Stop & Shop, said. "Just wanted us out of there. Because yesterday we really shutting them down pretty good."