Over 30,000 Stop & Shop employees began to strike yesterday afternoon after months of negotiation failed to address demands. The main issues are health care and retirement benefits. Stop & Shop is raising health insurance premiums, offering lower pension benefits to new hires, and seeking to replace even more jobs with self-serve automated check out and roaming robots wheeling around the store (I’ve seen these, they are creepy). The union wants affordable health care premiums,the same retirement benefits for new hires as the former hires enjoy, and job protection from automation. If you think the workers and their union, United Food & Commercial Workers, are asking for too much, consider:
According to Indeed.com, Stop & Shop hourly wages range from $9.28 per hour to $16.43 per hour. The average annual salary at Stop & Shop ranges from $16,000 to $62,000 per year.
According to their own annual report, the parent company of Stop & Shop, Dutch supermarket corporation Ahold Delhaize, had over $70 billion in sales in 2018.The union claims they had a U.S. tax cut of $225 million in 2017. Market Watch reports they posted net sales of $11 billion in the U.S. alone in 2018. Their fourth quarter profit, ending Dec. 31, 2018 was $ 588 million.