UFCW Local 1459 Stop & Shop Workers Authorize Strike

Before taking the vote, Local 1459 President, Tyrone Housey, explained his frustration with Stop & Shop’s negotiators. Housey, who began his union career as a front line worker for Stop & Shop supermarkets in 1988, said he had never seen a worse offer presented by the company. He cited the many takeaways, including a shift to 401K away from pensions, inadequate wage compensation, and attacks on the health benefits of workers as primary reasons for his ire especially in light of the growing profits Ahold enjoys. He also strongly opposed a demand that Local 1459’s health and welfare fund be merged with another local.

Housey’s displeasure with Stop & Shop was clearly shared by workers who shouted a chorus of “Take them down!” as he spoke. There was no dissension or apprehension about the possibility of a strike and workers were clearly willing and ready to strike if necessary. Housey said that given the current low unemployment rates, it was an opportune time to strike. “I need your help,” by authorizing a strike Housey explained to the members. The vote to authorize a strike places pressure on Stop & Shop to offer better terms for the contract or else face the possibility of a crippling strike.

Local 1459 has joined two other New England locals who have already voted in favor for a strike. Two additional locals are expected to authorize a strike today which would allow the five locals jointly negotiating with Stop & Shop to pull its workers from all Stop & Shop stores across New England.

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