Stop & Shop Strike Lingers, Inflicting Its Intended 'Economic Pain' On Owner

Apr 19, 2019

In our look back at news of the week, 31,000 employees of grocery chain Stop & Shop continued their strike across New England. The workers left their jobs last week amid a longstanding dispute over a new contract. 

Some other grocery stores say they're seeing an increase in business as Stop & Shop continues to operate with limited hours and far fewer workers.

One reason is customers honoring the striking workers' picket lines, and choosing to shop elsewhere

“This is everything about what labor disputes traditionally were,” said panelist Matt Szafranski. “It was to inflict some level of economic pain on the owner, on management. And traditionally, that has been contingent on getting public support, in a lot of these cases.”

Panelist Shaheen Pasha said people are starting to identify with the employees on strike, which could have a long-term impact.

“When you start that, and you start moving to another store, eventually, you just get used to the way that store operates,” she said. “And you’re already coming into it with this view of what Stop & Shop is doing to its employees — which kind of has a negative effect on your view of the store. What we will see is people kind of moving, and taking their business elsewhere, after the strike is resolved.”

Stop & Shop workers strike in Somerville, Massachusetts.
Credit Jesse Costa / WBUR

Also this week, the latest revenue figures for MGM Springfield were released by Massachusetts gambling regulators. March was a good month for the resort, with business up nearly 20 percent from February — thanks, in part, to a spike in slot machine play. This comes after the casino's operator said recently that business during the first six months was indeed slower than expected. 

In politics, former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld announced he will challenge President Donald Trump for the Republican Party's presidential nomination in 2020. Weld was in New Hampshire campaigning this week, and said he felt moved to jump into the race partly because he thinks six more years of the Trump Administration would be "a political tragedy." 

We wrap up our look at the week's news with a recent study about farming in Massachusetts. While there are fewer farms in operation than there were five years ago, their average value is up, and there are more than 1,200 people under the age of 35 running them. 

Guests:

Listen to all our Short List podcasts.

Find more podcasts from NEPR.