Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 04-17-2019

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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PAWTUCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | APRIL 17-23, 2019 PAWTUCKET 15 TOM GILCHRIST, who has worked at Stop & Shop for 26 years and is now a meat manager at the Cottage Street supermarket in Pawtucket, says workers are only looking for a fair contract. BREEZE PHOTOS BY CHARLES LAWRENCE Inside MARKET BASKET in Attleboro, Mass., where there has been a "tremendous increase in business" since the Stop & Shop strike. connection between that boost in cus- tomers and the strike at Stop & Shop, where parking lots have been mostly empty. The lines got so long at Market Basket in Attleboro, Mass., that custom- ers were being asked to wait outside. An employee confirmed that the store was seeing huge crowds as a worker strike took place a little more than mile up the road at Stop & Shop on Cottage Street. At multiple Dave's Market stores, customers were reporting having trou- ble finding a parking spot. "Kudos to the staff at Dave's Market, they have every register open, stockers all over the store, and a big crew at the deli counter serving all the extra cus- tomers," posted Cumberland resident Cindy Mauch. In North Providence, Scott Shore couldn't give a definitive percentage on the bump in traffic since workers began striking at the Stop & Shop down the road on Mineral Spring Avenue, but said it's "substantial." He said the store added staff and took other steps to keep up with the influx of new cus- tomers. A manager at Shaw's in North Providence also reported a substantial increase, but said corporate offices would have to release actual numbers. Kerry Kulesva, a Cumberland resi- dent and worker at Dave's Market in Cumberland, said the store has been "crazy" busy during the strike, with thousands more people coming in. "It's as busy as a snowstorm or a holi- day," she said. Workers are doing extra shifts and working longer hours but are happy to do it, said Kulesva, helping new cus- tomers along the way. "We're helping out as much as we can and going as fast as we can," she said. "You have to support Stop & Shop because they're one of us." Workers at the competing chain deserve to be paid, she said. At the larger of two Dave's Market stores in Smithfield, a manager said Monday that the store saw a "very big influx in business in the last four days." Employees have opened extra registers in an effort to do our "very best to take care of the customers," he said. Some stores this week were offering specials seeking to take advantage of the increased traffic from the strike. Customers were reporting changing their shopping habits in response to the strike. "We need Stop & Shop back. Markets are so packed," said local resi- dent Rhoda Lafond. "Hope the work- ers get what they deserve soon." STRIKE From Page One Stop & Shop workers, meanwhile, were getting support from politicians, other union members and residents of the towns they typically serve during shopping visits. Many said they would never cross a picket line and were sup- porting the rights of workers over cor- porate interests. Some who did choose to cross the lines found their photos splashed on the internet, shamed for not supporting the union's cause. Last Thursday, April 11, 31,000 members of the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) walked off the job in the middle of the day to protest what they called "the compa- ny's proposed drastic and unreasonable cuts to health care, take home pay, and customer service as well as unlaw- ful conduct." Customers, many having shopped for hours and having full carts, were asked to leave local stores. Signs urged Stop & Shop to do what's right, asked customers not to cross the picket line, and accused store executives of not bargaining in good faith. Stop & Shop representatives say they've countered union demands by offering pay increases for all associates, no changes to Sunday overtime pay for full-time workers, paid time off, and health benefits below market costs. Proposed cuts by Stop & Shop would devastate health benefits, drastically increase health costs, and decrease take-home pay, say union representatives. They say they would also impact customer service. "Our 31,000 members who work at Stop & Shop work incredibly hard to provide the great customer service that has made the company billions of dol- lars in profit and the top grocery store in New England," said the union in a statement. Stop & Shop workers have been negotiating a new contract with Stop & Shop representatives since Jan. 14. Motorists line up looking for a parking space in the parking lot of MARKET BASKET in nearby Attleboro, Mass. Workers report a "tremendous increase in busi- ness since Stop & Shop workers went on strike." 5th Anniversary MILTON R. FARLEY April 16, 2014 – April 16, 2019 To my husband . . . A butterfly flew near to me. I whispered one I love you and then away it flew. I know it took my message to heaven and to you. Love you and miss you. Eileen 5th Anniversary MILTON R. FARLEY April 16, 2014 – April 16, 2019 To my Dad and to Grandpa ~ We miss you and love you. Son, Steven and his wife, Dolores and grandchildren, Michael - Shannon Nook and Matthew

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