BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Stop and Shop workers have gone on strike Thursday.
The work stoppage affects stores in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and Connecticut.
According to Jeff Bowlen, president of the united food and commercial workers local 45 said that all 31,000 workers walked off the job at 1:00 pm
The move comes following months of tense labor negotiations with the company since February 14.
One Stop and Shop in Danvers has re-opened with shoppers using the self-scanning check-outs to buy their groceries as two dozen of workers picket quietly outside.
WBZ NewsRadio’s Kim Tunnicliffe what asked employees what the main sticking point is in negotiations.
“The health insurance - making it 4 times more expensive.” ,” said Joseph an employee on the picket line “A lot of people can't afford it as it is. It would really hurt a lot of people.”
Longtime worker Rusty Tarbox says being on strike will be a big financial hit for his family.
“Oh big time, big time. I really can't afford to be out here for days, but - gotta do whatcha gotta do” said Tarbox.
Stop & Shop says it's disappointed the unions chose to order a work stoppage and try to disrupt service at their stores. They say their full time workers are among the highest paid in the industry.
The grocer, which is a subsidiary of Dutch based supermarket Ahold Delhaize, said they have has contingency plans in place to minimize disruption.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports.