PROVINCETOWN — After three months of negotiations, the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Local 328 secured a four-year agreement for Stop & Shop employees on Feb. 27.
The contract applies to all unionized Provincetown and Orleans Stop & Shop employees and increases wages, improves health benefits, secures pension funding, and includes an “appreciation bonus” for both full- and part-time workers.
These contract negotiations proceeded more smoothly than the 2019 talks, which led to a costly 11-day strike.
In a Feb. 28 press release, UFCW officials hailed employees’ hard work in securing what they called a “zero concessions” contract. The union membership report touted strong health care benefits. Effective March 1, 2022, the health-care deductible for all eligible full-time employees dropped from $300 for individuals and $600 for families to $250 for individuals and $500 for families.
Stop & Shop employees had requested hazard pay in compensation for possible Covid exposure. Though the contract does not currently offer hazard pay, it does stipulate the company and union will renegotiate hazard wages in the case of any future Covid-induced statewide shutdown.
Pay at Stop & Shop is already above minimum wage, currently $14.25 per hour in Massachusetts. The UFCW wrote in a membership report, “Any employee currently in the [wage] progression scale shall earn at least $2.30 above minimum wage.”
For example, according to the membership report, grocery department heads currently earn $21.12 an hour and will earn $24 an hour starting June 28, 2023. The starting wages listed in the report may apply to workers in Rhode Island, where the minimum wage is $12.25 an hour. UFCW officials did not return calls for comment.
The contract also provides a one-time “appreciation bonus” of $500 for all full-time workers and $250 for part-time workers with at least one year of service.
Provincetown Stop & Shop employees declined to go on the record for this story but expressed appreciation for the new agreement.