EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Stop & Shop and the union representing its workers have returned to the bargaining table on Saturday afternoon in the midst of an ongoing strike.
A spokesman for Stop & Shop said the negotiations lasted several hours before ending at night.
More than 240 stores are feeling the pinch after nearly 31,000 union members pulled out of a company proposal and left work Thursday.
Workers at East Providence Stop & Shop went on strike for a third day in a row.
"I want to work, I do not want to be on the picket line," said Matthew McGuirl, a grocery manager who has worked for the company for almost 30 years.
UPDATE: Spokesperson for @StopandShop told me that the negotiations between the company and the union representing the workers are over for the night. Scheduled to resume tomorrow morning. Workers have been on strike since Thursday for a contract dispute. More at 11 on @ wpri12.
– Eric Halperin – WPRI (@EricHalperinTV) April 14, 2019
For months, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union and Stop & Shop have been trying to reach an agreement on things like health care, net pay and customer service. According to the union, members are dissatisfied with the salary cuts and benefits offered.
"They do not give us what we need to do, we want to get what we need to be done," McGuirl said.
In a statement from the company, Mark McGowan, President of Stop & Shop, wrote:
"Stop & Shop's comprehensive offer includes salary increases for all employees, excellent health coverage with unchanged deductibles, increased contributions to employee retirement plans and no change in paid vacation or vacation pay. current associates, balancing responsibility by rewarding our associates, protecting jobs and serving our customers in a deeply changing, largely non-unionized environment. "
Workers on strike Saturday chanted people who went to Providence Stop & Shop on Branch Avenue. During the day, members of Congress David Cicilline and Jim Langevin posted on social media their support for the work of workers in local stores. All this happened before the resumption of negotiations on Saturday night.
Filed by another picket line in Woonsocket a few minutes ago. You can see that the real success of this society lies in the great men and women who work there and deserve to be treated fairly. Strong Union!@UFCW @AFLCIO @riaflcio @projo @ wpri12 @ NBC10 @ ABC6 pic.twitter.com/ThcpOVQ0MB
– David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) April 13, 2019
"It's a horrible situation for everyone.It will be a horrible situation for the company.It will be a horrible situation for us too.So, I do not know, I mean, I want to go back to work, "said McGuirl.
Negotiations should resume Sunday morning.
The workers say that they will continue picketing until an agreement is reached.