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Stop & Shop, striking union workers continue negotiations

Striking Stop &Shop workers at a rally Thursday attended by former Vice President Joe Biden at a store in Dorchester.
Striking Stop &Shop workers at a rally Thursday attended by former Vice President Joe Biden at a store in Dorchester. (Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff)

More than a week into the Stop & Shop labor strike that involves tens of thousands of workers and more than 200 stores, the grocery chain continued negotiations with union officials Friday evening, the company said.

“Stop & Shop and the five UFCW local unions are continuing negotiations into the evening,” read a Friday night statement from the Quincy-based company. “We remain focused on reaching fair new agreements that provide market-leading wages, excellent health benefits for eligible associates and increased pension contributions for all of our associates.”

The strike started on April 11, when workers got the call from the United Food & Commercial Workers union to walk off the job. The work stoppage involves 31,000 employees at 240 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

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For Stop & Shop, the first few days of the strike saw visits to the chain by regular customers plummet 75 percent when compared to the previous weekend, according to one analysis.

A message left with a union spokeswoman were not immediately returned Friday night.

The workers are protesting proposed increases in health care costs, reductions in pension contributions for many nonvested part-time workers and new hires, and changes to Sunday and holiday overtime pay.

The walkout has drawn the attention and support of several notable Democratic politicians. Last week, US Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is running for president, showed her support for striking workers in Somerville. On Thursday, former vice president Joe Biden, addressed a crowd of several hundred gathered outside a Stop & Shop in Dorchester.

On Friday, Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar visited picket lines at stores north of Boston.


Katie Johnston of Globe staff contributed to this report. Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.

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