METHUEN, Mass. — Workers at a Shaw’s distribution center here went on strike Monday after negotiations on a new contract broke down, according to the union, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 791.
“It was clear from the beginning of negotiations that the company intended to force the workers at that facility to accept a contract with substandard wages and benefits,” said Russell F. Regan, president of the local, in a statement on the local’s website.
Workers voted 228 to 8 in favor of a strike, he said. Local reports said the warehouse, which distributes meat, produce and dairy, employs 310 workers.
The local reports said one of the sticking points was who is to pay for a 13% increase in health care costs.
In a prepared statement, Shaw’s parent company, Minneapolis-based Supervalu, said the union had insisted on a “last, best and final offer” to vote on by this past Sunday.
“We are disappointed our associates voted down that fair and reasonable contract offer, which would have increased wages, provided comprehensive health care and maintained the benefit levels and security of their pension,” the company said. “We do not believe the strike is in the best interest of our associates, our customers or our business, but we are prepared for every contingency to ensure we continue to serve our stores and their customers.”
Read More of Today's Headlines