Supermarket truck drivers and mechanics went on strike in New England Monday, stopping shipments to Shaw’s and Star Market stores as they call for a new contract.
The drivers are responsible for delivering food staples to about 150 supermarkets across the region, according to Joe Piccone, business agent for Teamsters Local 340 in South Portland -- including 76 stores in Massachusetts. Fruit, vegetables and refrigerated items are handled by a separate facility in Methuen, Massachusetts, Piccone said.
Shaw's is owned by parent firm Albertson’s Companies.
A company representative said both sides have met dozens of times but have yet to come to an agreement. The company has been bargaining in good faith, according to a spokesperson, and plans to return to the table this week.
The company goes on to say that they look forward to their employees returning to work this week. In the meantime- they're working with third party drivers to maintain service.
“Nobody wants to strike,” Piccone said of the 70 drivers and mechanics represented by the Teamsters who have been working without a contract since October.
“These guys are claiming that they have a great offer for us but the lawyer who works for the company quit,” he said.
Piccone said it’s a slap in the face of drivers who toiled away during the pandemic to ensure people had plenty to eat. The company, meanwhile, profited during the pandemic, he said.
“They kept the store shelves stocked,” he said. “The pandemic profit that these guys made is completely crazy.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.