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Union Workers Protest ShopRite Opening

by Eugene Driscoll | Apr 14, 2010 12:08 pm

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Posted to: Shelton

Supermarket union workers stood at the entrance of the new ShopRite on Bridgeport Avenue Wednesday, advising customers to take their business elsewhere.

The workers, many from area Stop & Shop stores, set up a giant rat to point out the new ShopRite doesn’t employ union workers.

“This is a fight to protect jobs, family and community,” read literature handed out by members of Local 371, United Food & Commercial Workers Union.

The new ShopRite workers will make about $5 an hour less than their union counterparts at the Stop & Shop across the street, said Brian Petronella, president of Local 371. Union workers also have a pension plan, Petronella said.

“It’s non-union. It doesn’t provide the same wages and benefits that our organized employers provide. For example, we have affordable health care for our part-time employees. It’s not affordable here. It costs a lot of money. And pension plans — we have real pension plans, where they don’t have to belong to a 401k.

About a dozen union workers stood at the entrance to the property on Bridgeport Avenue as the store opened for business.

Petronella pointed out that ShopRite stores in Hamden, Milford, Stratford and West Haven are union organized.

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