Truck drivers and mechanics for a popular New England grocery chain went on strike on Monday over new contract disagreements.
Drivers and truck mechanics picketed in Maine on May 3rd in response to new contracts with Shaw’s and Star Market stores. According to News 10 Boston, Drivers, mechanics, and the stores owned by parent company Albertson’s Companies have failed to come to an agreement over the new contracts.
Boston News reports that the 70 striking mechanics and drivers have been working without a contract since October, and have met with the company about 20 times, sometimes with a federal mediator, but no agreements have been reached.
The striking drivers are responsible for delivering dry food staples to approximately 150 grocery stores across the region.
“Nobody wants to strike,”said Joe Piccone, business agent for Teamsters Local 340 in South Portland.
“These guys [the grocery company] are claiming that they have a great offer for us but the lawyer who works for the company quit,” Piccone continued, citing how hard the drivers have worked during the pandemic while grocery stores profited from increased demand.
“They kept the store shelves stocked,” he said. “The pandemic profit that these guys made is completely crazy.”
Shaw’s has since issued a statement stating that the company has been bargaining with their drivers “in good faith,” and that they “look forward” to revisiting negotiations later this week.