Stop & Shop workers' strike could begin Friday

Stop & Shop workers' strike could begin Friday

RANDOLPH, Mass. — A union representing thousands of Stop & Shop workers in Massachusetts could begin a strike as soon as Friday, March 1.

UFCW Local 1445's vote last Sunday allows the union to call a strike if the contract dispute with the supermarket chain continues.

The union asked its nearly 10,000 members to keep working while it held negotiations through Thursday -- before deciding what to do.

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The fight centers on health insurance, pensions and vacation time. The union says Stop & Shop is looking to "degrade the quality of life" of workers.

Stop & Shop says it has offered proposals that "would ensure full-time associates continue to be among the highest paid food retail workers in the region."

Five union locals of the United Food & Commercial Workers have been negotiating with Stop & Shop for more than a month. Local 1445 is the first to vote on a strike.

In a statement Sunday, Stop & Shop said they're "proud of our relationship with our associates and optimistic that we will be able to reach a new agreement."

The grocery chain said its offer would keep workers among the highest paid grocery store employees in the region.

Workers in the western part of the sate could also vote to go on strike Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.