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Striking Workers Reach Agreement With Stop and Shop

Wed, 07/03/2024 - 13:22
After workers reached a tentative agreement with the Stop and Shop chain Tuesday evening, it was business as usual at the East Hampton Stop and Shop on Wednesday.
Jack Motz

The strike at the East Hampton Stop and Shop has concluded, following a tentative agreement reached Tuesday evening between the supermarket chain and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 342. 

"We definitely made headway in every category. . . We made movement across the board," Keeley Lampo, director of activities and communications for Local 342, said Tuesday after the 6:30 p.m. meeting. Ms. Lampo said that the parties made meaningful progress on the use of A.I. technology in stores, which was one of the key issues in the negotiations.

Checkout lines, for instance, are increasingly automated, Ms. Lampo said. 

Local 342 noticed the trend toward increasing use of A.I. technology, Ms. Lampo said. Local 342 bargained for greater regulation of the technology in Stop and Shop stores, particularly regarding scanning and inventory.

Stop and Shop provided a statement by email Wednesday morning. "Stop and Shop is pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with the U.F.C.W. Local 342 representing more than 1,300 associates in our New York market area," said Daniel Wolk, external communications manager for the supermarket chain. "Stop and Shop is proud that this fair, new agreement will enable us to continue to: recognize and reward our associates' contributions and commitment to our customers and the community; provide our associates with opportunities for growth and advancement, and enable Stop and Shop to continue to compete and thrive in this competitive landscape."

The strike began on Tuesday morning, after nine months of negotiations between Stop and Shop and Local 342. Five main items were subject to negotiation: wages, A.I. technology, understaffing, the cutting of hours, and the changing of working conditions during the bargaining process.

At the East Hampton and Southampton stores, the strikes on Tuesday were "wall to wall," which means the entirety of the staff participated. On Wednesday, the scene at the Newtown Lane supermarket had returned to normal, as customers entered the store without crossing a line of picketers. 

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