On April 11, at 1:15 p.m., the 31,000 workers at Stop & Shop, the largest supermarket chain in New England, walked off the job to protest proposed cuts to their health care, wages, and retirement.
The bakers, cashiers, stockers, deli clerks and butchers who are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union not only provide an invaluable service to millions of customers, they also made Stop & Shop’s parent company, Ahold Delhaize, over $2 billion in profits in 2018.
Instead of sharing some of these profits with their own workers, Ahold and Stop & Shop believed that our union workers would simply accept a bad deal and, more importantly, that New England shoppers would be indifferent to the concerns of our union members.
Stop & Shop and Ahold were wrong on both counts.
What happened in New England should be a wake-up call to not just multinational grocery companies, but also to corporate America as a whole. America’s workers have had enough with a broken economic system that rewards shareholders with billions of dollars while they receive pennies.