Was Stop & Shop strike a turning point?

THE STOP & SHOP STRIKE earlier this year cost the company about $100 million and resulted in a contract the workers could agree to, but whether the power on display at Bay State grocery stores was an aberration or a sign of resurgent force in private sector labor is an open question.

For decades, private sector labor has been on a decline around the United States, but the Stop & Shop strike gained big buy-in from the public and politicians. Jeff Bollen, who is president of the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 1445, noticed a connection between his union reaching an agreement with Stop & Shop and then later gaining some concessions from Macy’s.

“We believe when the strike ended, and we won that strike, that Macy’s came right back to the table and settled – the best contract we’ve ever gotten from them,” Bollen said.

Bollen and Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steve Tolman both sat down for an interview on the most recent episode of the Codcast to provide organized labor’s viewpoint on that strike and where the labor movement stands today.