Stop & Shop in Vineyard Haven is now open

With strike over, both Island supermarkets return to business as usual.

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Food waste spills from a Vineyard Haven Stop & Shop dumpster Monday afternoon. A tentative agreement brought Stop & Shop employees back to work after a week-long strike. — Rich Saltzberg

Updated April 23 @ 10:30 am

The Vineyard Haven Stop & Shop opened for business Tuesday morning, a day after the rest of the chain’s stores throughout Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut reopened. Some of its shelves remained bare as the store awaits shipments.

Stores had been closed since union workers walked off the job April 11 to join picket lines. A tentative agreement was reached between The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and Stop & Shop Sunday night.

The agreement includes wage increases, and preserves health care and retirement benefits, among other things, according to a press release from UFCW.

On Monday, an ABC Disposal Service truck collected trash from a bin outside the back of the Vineyard Haven store, spilling some of the fruits, vegetables, and other perishables disposed as a result of the strike. Some of the apples and oranges rolled into the street and the nearby parking lot before being swept up and put into the garbage truck.

On Sunday night, union officials praised the agreement that was reached and the public support workers received during the strike.

On Sunday night, union officials praised the agreement that was reached and the public support during the strike.

“We are incredibly grateful to our customers and everyone who proudly stood together with us every day for a contract that invests in the communities we serve, and makes Stop & Shop a better place to work and a better place to shop. Under this proposed contract, our members will be able to focus on continuing to help customers in our communities enjoy the best shopping experience possible and to keep Stop & Shop the number one grocery store in New England. The agreement preserves health care and retirement benefits, provides wage increases, and maintains time-and-a-half pay on Sunday for current members. Today is a powerful victory for the 31,000 hardworking men and women of Stop & Shop who courageously stood up to fight for what all New Englanders want – good jobs, affordable health care, a better wage, and to be treated right by the company they made a success,” the UFCW release reads.

The Vineyard Haven store has been closed throughout the 10 days of the strike and remained closed Monday morning. A store clerk told people trying to get in that the store remains closed while workers prep the store to reopen. Stop & Shop’s director of external communications and community outreach Jennifer Brogan said Stop & Shop is working to reopen the store “as soon as possible,” but could not give a definitive timeline of when that would happen.

Meanwhile, the Edgartown store remained open throughout the strike, but had few people crossing the picket lines. On Monday, employees who had been on strike less than 24 hours prior could be seen back at work restocking empty shelves. Both Cronig’s stores and Reliable in Oak Bluffs have seen a significant uptick in customers over the 10 days.

The union includes Locals 371, 919, 1445, 1459, and 328. The Vineyard Haven and Edgartown Stop & Shops belong to Local 328 which is based in Providence, R.I.

Jessica Raimundo, UFCW’s press contact, told The Times in a phone conversation Sunday evening she could not specify how much wages were increased, but said union members are reviewing the agreement before taking a vote.

“We are very pleased to announce Stop & Shop has reached fair new tentative agreements with UFCW Locals,” Brogan, said in a release. “We’re also glad to have our associates return to work as the strike has ended.”

Brogan added the tentative agreement is awaiting ratification votes by members of each union locals, but includes increased pay, continued health care coverage, and ongoing pension benefits.

“Our associates’ top priority will be restocking our stores so we can return to taking care of our customers and communities and providing them with the service they deserve. We deeply appreciate the patience and understanding of our customers during this time, and we look forward to welcoming them back to Stop & Shop,” Stop & Shop’s statement reads.

In an email to customers, Stop & Shop president Mark McGowan said a tentative agreement had been reached.

You may have heard about, or been affected by the strike that occurred in our Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island stores,” McGowan said. “This strike was hard for all of us. But we got to a resolution that does right by our associates and our business, so we can all keep serving our customers and communities. Thank you. For being patient. For your understanding. For sticking with us.”

Updated to include more details as they unfolded on Monday – Ed.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Was the food in the dumpster and on the ground not good enough for the high dollar compost at Island Grown Initiatives? Seems crazy that it would get that out of control and nobody step in to at least clean that up rather than invite rats and other rodents to the dinner table. I do know Stop and Shop donates to quite a few events on the island so maybe if this kind of thing should happen again those who have benefited from those donations will step up and take out the trash.

  2. The food was waste, obviously. Can’t this company do it right and get it in the truck rather than on town property? Did they hose the town owned parking lot down? Did they notify the town? Do they even care? This is NOT a Stop and Shop issue it’s an ABC issue. They get an F in my book .

  3. I get a chuckle that the Halls are holding up a multi billion dollar company from expanding their store. Maybe we dont need any expansion.

    • Yes, the Halls’ constant obstruction…truly a source of mirth throughout the land.
      Or frustration. Choose your own adventure, I suppose.

  4. So let me get this straight, only a few days before Easter, Stop&Shop, seeking the credit and goodwill of the community, misrepresents to Betty Burton and Pastor Christian about the state of their “generosity” in donating all that food (MVTimes, April 19th), such that the Pastor is quoted,”“It’s a joy,” Christian said. “Thank God for all of this food and that it’s not going to waste.”, and Betty Burton was similarly deceived by Stop&Shop, the reporter,”Betty Burton wants to let people know, under her watch, no food is going to waste.”.
    Well we now know this was a big deception, thanks to the above article with hundreds of pounds of food spilling throughout the Water St lot.
    Let’s hope the workers were not similarly deceived in agreeing to end their strike.

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