May 19, 2021

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Beyond law

Shaw’s shipping motorists strike in Maine more than lapse in deal talks

A labor dispute involving truck motorists and mechanics for Shaw’s supermarkets in Maine led to a strike Monday that the grocery chain vowed to resolve this 7 days.

A representative of the Teamsters Local Union No. 340 in South Portland issued a statement early Monday saying the personnel were heading on strike as of 5:30 a.m.

He said most of the the putting employees are drivers who supply dry items and groceries from a distribution middle in Wells to 122 Shaw’s merchants all-around New England. The some others are mechanics in Scarborough who preserve the vehicles.

About 70 personnel in all are on strike, stated Joe Piccone, organization agent for the Teamsters community.

“The functions have fulfilled about 20 times because Oct. 2020 when the recent contract expired,” Piccone said in a assertion. “Since February 2021, the corporation has mentioned that they have a counter-proposal but are not able to present it because they presently have no a single with authority to negotiate obtainable.”

Piccone mentioned the law firm representing Shaw’s and its guardian enterprise, Albertsons Providers Inc., stop this year, and that the two sides have not fulfilled because February.

He explained the principal problems around the deal pertain to how much function can be subcontracted and the amount the company contributes to retirement accounts.

Shaw’s issued a statement Monday afternoon indicating it had been bargaining in great religion with the union on a new labor settlement and would be returning to the bargaining table this 7 days.

“Since August 2020, we have participated in around 20 bargaining classes, which includes 1-quarter of these periods with a federal mediator in attendance,” the company’s statement explained. “We stay committed to achieving an settlement that acknowledges the great benefit our associates supply to our company’s existing and foreseeable future achievements.”

Jim Kelly, a driver with Shaw’s supermarkets who is on strike, appears at the driver of a truck leaving the Shaw’s distribution facility in Wells on Monday. Gregory Rec/Personnel Photographer

Shaw’s said it has a proposal to provide that incorporates contract improvements, “yet it was not presented to the membership for a vote for approval.”

“We look forward to our employees returning to work this 7 days,” it mentioned.

Piccone reported enterprise officials told him previously this 12 months, “We have a excellent offer, but we simply cannot exhibit it to you, and we’re doing the job on finding an individual with authority who can.”

“They’re promising us it’s wonderful, though,” he reported.

Piccone said putting Teamsters in Wells were picketing at the entrance to the distribution middle Monday and delaying, but not blocking, vehicles from moving into and leaving. He mentioned the company was applying truckers from a distribution middle in Massachusetts, subcontractors and other trucking strains to substitute the putting workers.

There have been sporadic labor disputes involving supermarkets in Maine in excess of the past decade.

Staff at a Hannaford distribution heart in South Portland staged a 24-hour walkout in 2018 through negotiations more than a deal at that web-site. The two sides agreed about a thirty day period later to a new deal that called for 3 several years of wage hikes for workers and upkeep of health care protection, but decrease starting up wages for new workforce.

The other major labor motion in the field in Maine was in 2014 at the Market place Basket store in Biddeford, the place staff staged demonstrations, but did not stroll off the position, to protest a corporate shake-up that resulted in the ouster of CEO Arthur T. Demoulas, who was well-liked with the staff. Some staff in Massachusetts went on strike and quite a few consumers stopped searching at Marketplace Basket retailers in a display of assistance for Demoulas.

Demoulas was inevitably capable to engineer the obtain of the 50 percent of the enterprise that he did not have before the dispute started, and employees and buyers returned later on in the year.


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