Solidarity and Support for Striking Shop & Shop Workers

Hamden,  CT, April 15, 2019 - Leaders of AFT Connecticut and Council 4 AFSCME today presented a joint donation to workers picketing outside the Dixwell Avenue Stop & Shop in Hamden. Each labor federation contributed $2,500.00 to a joint strike fund benefitting approximately 12,000 cashiers, stockers, bakers, deli clerks, and butchers in the company's 94 grocery stores across Connecticut. They were joined by local consumers and elected officials supporting members of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW).

“We are proud to stand with the 31,000 members of UFCW on strike across New England,” said AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel. “They deserve to maintain what they’ve worked so hard to achieve — a middle-class life for their families.

"When a profitable corporation like Stop & Shop tries to rob its employees of their shot at the American Dream, our members will rise up in solidarity. That's what the 'U & I in Union' is all about,” added Hochadel, who previously taught science and physics in technical high schools in Stamford and Waterbury.

“Stop & Shop workers help New England families put food on the table and keep our communities strong,” said Council 4 AFSCME Executive Director Jody Barr. “Now they are facing big cuts to health care and take-home pay. These union members are taking a bold and courageous stand for workers everywhere. Their fight for a fair contract and for dignity on the job is our fight.

"Our union members stand behind them because we recognize that we are in this together,” added Barr, previously a voice system analyst at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic.

Hochadel's and Barr's labor federations represent a combined 61,000 working people across Connecticut in the public and private sectors. Together they represent the two largest affiliates in the Connecticut AFL-CIO, which has spearheaded solidarity actions in support of UFCW members since the strike began.

“We are incredibly grateful to Council 4 and AFT Connecticut for their generous contribution to the joint strike fund,” said UFCW Local 371 Organizing Director Jessica Petronella. “Their members have also been walking picket lines, bringing food and water, and offering words of encouragement and solidarity. This flood of support shows New England is a place that values hard-working union families and believes workers have earned the right to build a better life and community,” added Petronella.

Along with their colleagues in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, members of UFCW Locals 371 and 919 last Thursday launched the largest private sector strike in the United States since 2016. The action followed protracted negotiations in which the company's Belgium-based corporate owners at Ahold Delhaize attempted to hike employees’ healthcare costs and slash retirement benefits for new hires.

Scroll down for an action flyer to share with family, friends and co-workers.