SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – Truck drivers for Shaw’s supermarkets, represented by Teamsters, went on strike on Monday, stopping shipments to Shaw’s and Star Market grocery stores in New England.
Drivers are responsible for delivering food staples to more than 100 supermarkets in the region, said Joe Picone, business agent for Teamsters Local 340 in South Portland. Fruits, vegetables and refrigerators are processed by a separate facility in Methuen, Massachusetts, he said.
“No one wants to strike,”
A Shaw’s spokesman said in a statement that the parties would return to the negotiating table this week and that the company remained “committed to reaching an agreement that recognizes the enormous value our associates place on our company’s current and future success.”
“We look forward to our employees returning to work this week,” the spokesman said. “We are prepared for this labor dispute and will continue [to] service our stores with our regularly scheduled deliveries. “
Shaw’s and Star Market are owned by Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States, which also owns Acme and Safeway, among other supermarket chains. According to the company’s latest annual report and the grocery store websites, there are 21 Star Market stores and 55 Shaw’s stores in Massachusetts.
Workers hit 205 Spencer Dr. in Wales, Maine, at the Shaw Distribution Center. Managers of grocery stores in several locations in Shaw’s and Star Market in Massachusetts said Monday that they were not authorized to speak to the press about whether the strike affected supplies or what types of items could be delayed.
Shaw’s parent company did not respond to requests for comment.
Picone said the dispute was a slap in the face to drivers who worked during the pandemic to ensure people could eat a lot. Meanwhile, the company is winning during the pandemic, he said.
“They kept the store shelves in the shops,” he said. “The pandemic profit these guys have made is completely insane.”
Anisa Gardizi of Globe staff contributed to this report.