Interim agreement reached to end Stop & Shop strike, say both parties



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By Alex Johnson

Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. and workers' unions from more than 240 New England stores said Sunday night they reached an interim deal ending a work stoppage of more than 30,000 employees in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Stop & Shop said to be "happy to see our employees return to work while the strike is over". The three-year agreement, however, remains subject to ratification votes by five local unions of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, or UFCW.

Stop & Shop said the deal includes a pay increase, revisions of the company's previous offer on health insurance and the extension of defined benefit retirement benefits to all eligible employees.

The UFCW confirmed Sunday night in a statement that "we have reached an agreement in principle with Stop & Shop". All striking employees are expected to go to work Monday morning.

"Be proud of what you have accomplished on the line, thank your friends, neighbors and customers who signed petitions, brought food and shared your message with the world," said the union.

The strike began on April 11 after the break-off of negotiations on a new contract. Union representatives said the company was asking its New England workers, three-quarters of whom are part-time, to pay more for their insurance and accept reduced pension benefits.

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