• Negotiations continue between Stop & Shop and the union, with no deal


    BOSTON - Negotiations continued Saturday between Stop & Shop and the union, with no deal.

    Saturday marked Day 10 of the strike. Neither side, however, has released an update since Friday night. 

    The strike has drastically reduced business at Stop & Shop stores, with many customers not wanting to cross the picket line. 

    But those customers still needed to do their Easter shopping somewhere, and many other grocery stores were packed as a result. 

    "One of the busiest days of the year," said Bill Lambert, owner of Lambert's Fruit in Dorchester, which saw an estimated 15 to 20 percent boost in business. 

    "Since Stop & Shop went on strike it’s a whole lot busier," Lambert said. 

    Gerald Richardson shopped at Lambert's on Saturday. 

    “It’s more people now, ha ha ha, trying to get in early because it’s even busier later on," Richardson said.

    Stop & Shop has kept most of its stores open during the strike, but they have scaled back on services. The bakery, deli and seafood counters remain closed. 

    A company named Skyhook, which uses mobile location technology to analyze trends, sampled data from loyal Stop & Shop customers last weekend. 

    It showed a 75 percent decline in visits. 

    “You feel bad, I feel bad about the whole thing. I feel bad for the union workers, I know the company and they all have their arguments so it’s just an unfortunate thing," Lambert said.

    But competitors are still hoping their new customers decide to return, even after the strike is over. 

    “I hope we gain some of them, sure," Lambert said. “A lot of people didn’t even know we were here and then they would come in and they thought it was a garden center or something different and then people are like 'Oh, this is great.'"

    Meanwhile, on Saturday, Stop & Shop said it is donating toys, candy and Easter baskets to needy children for the holiday. 

    They also said some stores will be open on Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon. 

    Striking workers are seeking better pay and benefits. 

    And their strike has caught the attention of a lot of people, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who have rallied with the workers.

    The union for employees said Thursday was the last paycheck for workers.

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