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Stop & Shop employees rallying in Fall River. Photo by Josh Souza.

Stop & Shop employees have my support … for now

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Since the start of the Stop & Shop strike, I have not gone grocery shopping at any of the Stop & Shop locations. It was my grocery store of choice before the strike, but I always give the workers of any strike the benefit of the doubt until they prove me wrong.

While the majority of striking workers seem to be behaving, there are some that have resorted to shaming anyone who crosses their picket line – shouting and in some cases taking video/photos to shame them. The highest profile video so far is Boston Bruins great Ray Bourque:

Ray went to Twitter shortly after and apologized:

If you watch the video, Ray was carrying a single bag. Was he picking up a prescription or just over the counter medication? It’s fair to assume Ray could have went somewhere else, but I doubt his purchase of a few items is going to keep Stop & Shop open.

More importantly, Turtleboy Sports showed examples of Stop & Shop employees in Danvers publically shamed people and small businesses who stopped by their Stop & Shop store. This is where the Stop & Shop employees are starting to lose my support.

If you drive by a Stop & Shop at their peak hours, the parking lots are mostly empty except for the striking workers. I’d say the impact is significant on Stop & Shop’s bottom line. I’d estimate more than 99% of people have stopped going to Stop & Shop. Do the workers really need to harrass the less than 1% that still go there?

In no way, will that revenue keep Stop & Shop from the bargining table. Do workers really need to shame and destroy a small business owner because he picked up a prescription? Went to his bank to deposit money? You do not know why they are going into the store. While it may be easy for millionaires like Ray Bourque to switch a prescription, it may not be as easy for others.

Your fight for benefits is important, but not so important as to call for others to harrass and boycott – trying to hurt or put a small business out of business. Getting people laid off in the name of supporting workers makes zero sense. If striking workers continue to harass people, I will head back to Stop & Shop and use the self-check out line. It will be my protest. I’m supporting you and will continue to support you in your time of need, but that support has limits. Continue to fight for your benefits, but don’t harass the folks who stop by. Explain to them why you are striking and you’ll likely win them over. Continue to harass them and you’ll lose their support – and mine.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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2 comments

  1. “I will head back to Stop & Shop and use the self-check out line. It will be my protest.”

    Some protest. That’s exactly what management wants. Automation saves corporate money. You’ll just help them prove they don’t need the workers in the first place.

  2. Not all strikers are acting out this way can’t blame them for being angry about the situation. Doesn’t excuse their behavior. We are fighting to keep benefits we have had since starting at Stop and Shop some like me for 24 years. I chose Stop and Shop to work for because of the benefits it offered to part timers that I couldn’t get anywhere else. Got married and now the flexible schedule allows me time with my kids while still paying my bills. Now they want to cut what have worked hard to get and take away future benefits for new hires . Not fair in my opinion . Please don’t stop your support of us because of a few thank you

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