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Shaw’s Driver Union Calls New England Strike

Drivers for a popular grocery store chain with a Burlington location have announced a strike.

According to NBC Boston 10 and multiple other outlets, Teamsters Local 340, which includes drivers to 76 Shaw’s and Star Market locations in Massachusetts, are calling for a new contract and have decided not to make deliveries until negotiations progress. The union delivers dry goods while produce and refrigerated items are handled by a separate facility.

According to NBC Boston 10, Joe Piccone, business agent for Teamsters Local 340, said drivers feel it is a “slap in the face” to have worked hard during the pandemic to ensure the shelves were stocked and not share in the large profits the grocery stores saw during that time. He is also quoted as saying that “nobody wants a strike.”

A spokesperson for Shaw’s replied to BNEWS’s request for comment by saying they are working to make the contract negotiations work.

“We have been bargaining in good faith with Teamsters Local 340 on a new labor agreement for our 65 drivers and mechanics who work at our Shaw’s Wells Distribution Center and are pleased to be returning to the bargaining table this week,” the spokesperson said. “Since August 2020 we have participated in approximately 20 bargaining sessions including one quarter of these sessions with a federal mediator in attendance. We remain committed to reaching an agreement that recognizes the tremendous value our associates provide to our Company’s current and future success. Our current proposal is consistent with our outlined goal, setting forth industry leading 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 week.”

The spokesperson added the company is working to ensure all products customers are looking for will be on the shelves.

“Our customers can be assured that throughout this process, we will continue to provide the unmatched customer service they have come to expect from Shaw’s. We are prepared for this labor dispute and will continue to serve our stores with our regularly scheduled deliveries.”