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Stop & Shop Workers Ratify New Contract

The agreement -- which three union locals already voted to approve -- might be something of a mixed bag.

Stop & Shop workers in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts ratified a new three-year contract, ending a monthslong impasse that led to an 11-day strike.

Details of the new contract -- spilling out from other United Food and Commercial Workers Union locals that approved it last week -- include only a slight increase in employee contributions to healthcare and a two-tiered system for pension recipients, with newer employees getting less than their longer-term colleagues.

Employees who started after 2016 will see roughly 15 percent less in retirement benefits than those who began working at Stop & Shop before that date, according to documents provided by UFCW 1445.

The strike, which ended last Sunday after a week and a half of picketing, was the largest private sector strike in the country in three years. It captured the attention of Democratic politicians -- including some 2020 presidential hopefuls -- who flocked to the region to show solidarity with workers.

Of the five union locals that participated in the strike, only one has yet to vote on the new contract. UFCW 1459, based in Springfield, Massachusetts, is set to vote Wednesday, May 1.

Stop & Shop workers on strike earlier this month.
Stop & Shop workers on strike earlier this month.