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QUEENS VILLAGE, NY -- This week unionized workers at some New York-area Pathmark, Stop & Shop, and King Kullen units are voting on whether to authorize their union, United Food Workers Local 1500, to call a strike after June 25.
On June 12 more than 1,500 Pathmark workers in New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County voted in favor of a strike. Stop & Shop employees are expected to vote on the issue tonight, and King Kullen associates will vote on June 15.
Ahold-owned Stop and Shop locations in the area can be found on Long Island, throughout the five boroughs, and in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties. King Kullen stores are located mainly on Long Island.
Company proposals to lower Sunday premium pay for new hires and paycheck co-pays for health insurance for current and future workers are the main bones of contention, according to the union, which represents 23,000 grocery workers in the New York metropolitan area.
"We have offered a fair and equitable settlement for all parties and will do everything possible to avoid a work stoppage," said Local 1500's president Bruce W. Both in a statement. "We hope these strike votes will encourage the employers to move swiftly to resolve the remaining issues."
Pathmark spokesman Rich Savner told Progressive Grocer that negotiations on wages, benefits, and pension were ongoing, and that the grocer hoped to reach a "fair and reasonable" settlement by the time the labor contract expires on June 24.