Stop & Shop is preparing to hire temporary workers in case the union that represents many of its workers in Westchester and Putnam counties declares a strike.
“Given the union’s statements threatening a strike, we have a responsibility to intensify our contingency planning to help protect the interests of our customers, associates and company,” said company spokeswoman Arlene Putterman in a statement issued this afternoon. “We remain committed to reaching a fair and reasonable new contract that reflects the economic needs of our associates and their families, and the competitive realities facing the company.”
The United Food and Commercial workers Union Local 1500 said earlier today that the supermarket will hire more than 6,000 replacement workers to cover all the positions in their store.
“It truly shows the absolute disconnect Stop and Shop management has not only with its workers, but more importantly, their shoppers,” said Anthony Speelman, Secretary-Treasurer of UFCW Local 1500 and lead negotiator for the union’s Stop and Shop Negotiating Committee.
The union has been negotiating with the supermarket chain and it has another round of negotiations on Friday, according to Putterman. The union has scheduled an emergency meeting on November 24 at 7 p.m. in the Mount Kisco Holiday Inn.
Last month 5,500 Stop & Shop workers voted to strike if their contract wasn’t renewed by its November 2 expiration date.
Part of the labor dispute is over healthcare benefits, according to the union.