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In response to Shaw’s plans to hire permanent replacement workers at its warehouse in Methuen, Mass., where union employees have been on strike since March 7 after rejecting a contract offer that, according to United Food and Commercial Workers Local 791 “would require workers and their families to shoulder outlandish health care costs,” the UFCW has accused the West Bridgewater, Mass.-based chain of taking the labor wrangle “to a new level.”
“Many of these men and women have worked at the warehouse for many years,” said union spokesman Peter Derouen. “By threatening to bring in replacement workers, Shaw’s is jeopardizing the livelihoods of hundreds of workers and their families. It is long past time for the company to return to the table and publicly demonstrate its commitment to their hard-working and dedicated employees who have helped make Shaw’s a successful company.”
Local 791 said it would closely monitor Shaw’s hiring activities to determine if whether the division of Minneapolis-based Supervalu is violating federal labor laws. Along with this, the union also wants the chain to provide it with any documents it will use during the replacement hiring process.
Negotiations between the two sides have stalled. UFCW says that picket lines outside the Methuen warehouse and Shaw’s non-union store locations will continue until the company returns to the bargaining table.