Boston, MA– The Stop & Shop strike has been going on for a week now after the grocery store's employee union failed to reach a new contract agreement with the regional grocery store. The union workers continue to protest Stop & Shop's plan to cut wages and reduce healthcare and pension benefits. Now, some national voices have joined their cause.
First up is Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and 2020 presidential candidate. Warren is known for her far-left populist sentiments, like an inverse Donald Trump. Unsurprisingly, Warren quickly announced her support for the workers. “Do not cross the picket line,” Warren said. “Understand people on the picket line are not just fighting for their families. They’re fighting for all our families. They’re fighting for basic fairness and equality in this country.”
Warren, who has been openly critical of large companies and their unscrupulous behavior, explained her reasoning. “This is a company that made $2 billion in profits, that then got a fancy tax break in Washington from the Republicans and now wants to squeeze our workers right here in Massachusetts,” Warren told the workers. “Well, we’re not going to put up with it.”
And Warren isn't the only presidential hopeful to weigh in on the labor strike. Former Vice President Joe Biden tweeted this a few days ago: "In the last 5 years, StopandShop's parent company has bought back billions of dollars in stock. Now they want to cut employee wages & benefits. This is wrong. I stand with the 31,000 UFCW workers fighting for their healthcare. Join me and support them." Biden has yet to announce his campaign for 202o, but it is widely expected that he will run.
Today, Biden is planning on attending a rally of Stop & Shop workers in Dorchester (South Bay Center) at 2pm to speak to the striking employees and offer his support.
Negotiations between the labor union and Stop & Shop are still ongoing. But, according to the Boston Globe, this strike is an historic one given the impact it will have on the company. Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director of Strategic Resource Group, a retail consulting firm that has evaluated grocery store strikes for three decades said, “In nearly 30 years, we haven’t seen a strike as effective and devastating as this one.” Many Stop & Shop parking lots are empty while customers shop elsewhere in support of the strike.
Image via Flickr / JJBers