WETHERSFIELD, CT (WFSB) - Supermarkets across the state are feeling the impact of the holdout between Stop & Shop and union employees.

Monday marked the fifth day of the strike.

Some shoppers stood in solidarity with the employees and stocked up on groceries at other stores.

Meanwhile, union workers said they'll return to the picket lines later Monday morning.

This time, they said they'll have the backing of Connecticut lawmakers.

Several Democratic politicians plan to express their support by writing a letter they'll send to Stop & Shop.

Workers told Channel 3 that the company isn't just losing out on its loyal customers, it's losing purchases from its own employees.

"Plus remember, when we leave our shifts we buy food for our families," said Nicola Faraone, Rocky Hill Union 919, strike co-captain. "We’re going elsewhere now too."

Union workers continue to keep their heels dug in to protest what they call unfair wages and high healthcare premiums.

Stop & Shop said it is offering a fair contract that includes pay increases.

Sunday, Sen. Richard Blumenthal and other Democrats visited stores across Connecticut.

He said on Monday, he and members of Connecticut's Congressional delegation will send the letter to Stop & Shop to express their support for workers.

Many of the union workers said they have been going on without pay. They said some families have more than one person picketing.

They said even though they want to get back to work, they'll stand out there until a respectful and fair agreement is reached.

Quinnipiac University Associate Professor Julia Fullick-Jagiela believes the company could lose more long term.

Not only are they losing money by foods expiring, but they've been losing customers daily.

“There's always that potential backlash that people are going to other groceries stores and that will stick and they don't end up going back to Stop & Shop and that's always a risk with this,” Fullick-Jagiela said.

She said she’s seeing a lot of shoppers siding with union workers, which could also impact the company long term.

“When you go to the grocery store, you get to know the people who work there. They come part of your family and communities want to invest in their families and they want to see companies invest in their families,” Fullick-Jagiela said.

Stop and Shop President, Mark McGowan offered a statement on the negotiations. 

To our customers,
We apologize for the inconvenience that the strike has caused our loyal customers.
First, we want you to know, Stop&Shop recognizes the valuable role our associates play in creating a great experience for you. They are a part of your lives, a part of our community, and key to our success. That's why it is so important to us to provide a fair contract to our employees who are members of the UFCW unions currently on strike.
The wages, healthcare, and pension offer for all of our employees - full and part-time, across all stores - are among the best for New England retail and supermarket associates. This contract offer is no exception. That's why we are committed to continued discussions until a fair and reasonable result is achieved.
We are committed to resolving our labor negotiations as quickly as possible so that our employees can return to their jobs and we can get back to better serving you and the community.
In the interim, we're also committed to keeping our doors open for our customers. We are grateful to members of the management team and others who are jumping in to assure that you continue to receive service. Most stores remain open for business 7 days a week, from 8am-8pm, with some reduced services. However, Bakery, Customer Service, Deli, and Seafood counters will not be operational, and we currently have a limited meat selection. Our gas stations are also closed at this time.
Be assured, we are grateful for your understanding and are working around the clock to get back to business as usual. In the meantime, thanks for sticking with us.
Mark McGowan
President, Stop&Shop

Stay with Channel 3 for updates.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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(1) comment

HondasSuck

Boo hoo for the highest paid chain grocery store employees in the state. If S&S wasn't so expensive (probably to pay for all those union benefits), I'd gladly go there to support S&S while their greedy, unskilled workers demand even more money.

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