AVON, CT (WFSB)-- Sunday marked day four of walkouts as union workers continued protesting for what they say are unfair wages and high health premiums, and still no deal has been made.
Negotiations between Stop & Shop and the United Food and Commercial Workers continued Sunday after workers at more than 200 Stop & Shop locations walked off the job Thursday in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
Stop & Shop says they’ve proposed a plan that includes across-the-board raises and health and pension benefits. The Union disagrees, saying raises would be eaten up by higher healthcare costs.
“Every single day that we come to work at Stop & Shops across New England we pour our sweat and tears giving this company our all. All we ask for is fair wages and fair labor practices,” said Brian Horsley.
Stop & Shop parking lots in the state sat empty Sunday, while competing grocery stores were hit hard by the fallout as people shopped for the week ahead.
“I’m a Stop & Shop customer,” Megan Witcoskie of Avon said. “To be in different stores, I don’t know where things are and I’m kind of back and forth.”
Senator Richard Blumenthal joined workers at different stores in the state. He told Channel 3 the delegation plans to send a letter to the company tomorrow, expressing strong support for the employees.
There is also concern for possible ripple effects.
“I am deeply concerned that our economy might be harmed,” Senator Blumenthal said. “There workers and these families are disadvantaged and Stop & Shop is losing all its money.”
The company told Channel 3 both parties did talk today. Now many are wondering how much longer the strike can last.
Kim Leon, an employee of Stop & Shop in Wethersfield for 33 years, said her and her son are anxiously awaiting the latest negotiation details.
“I thought they would have settled after day one with them losing as much money as they are,” Leon said.
Alicia Budney of Avon is surprised the strike is still going on.
“We’re surprised Stop & Shop hasn’t made any concession,” Budney said.
According to a Stop & Shop official, the last time the company workers went on strike was in 1988, and it lasted for less than a day.