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Educators, Municipal and State Employees, Nurses Back Grocery Workers on Strike

“We are proud to stand with the 31,000 members of UFCW on strike across New England,” said AFT Connecticut President Jan Hochadel (fifth from left, in photo above). “They deserve to maintain what they’ve worked so hard to achieve — a middle-class life for their families. When a profitable corporation like Stop & Shop tries to rob its employees of their shot at the American Dream, our members will rise up in solidarity. That’s what the ‘U & I in Union’ is all about,” added Hochadel, who previously taught science and physics in technical high schools in Stamford and Waterbury.
“Stop & Shop workers help New England families put food on the table and keep our communities strong,” said Council 4 AFSCME Executive Director Jody Barr (left, above). “Now they are facing big cuts to health care and take-home pay. These union members are taking a bold and courageous stand for workers everywhere. Their fight for a fair contract and for dignity on the job is our fight. Our union members stand behind them because we recognize that we are in this together,” added Barr, previously a voice system analyst at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic.
Hochadel and Barr’s labor federations represent a combined 61,000 working people across Connecticut in the public and private sectors. They include PreK-12 teachers and school support staff, state municipal and employees, higher nurses and health professionals and education faculty in over 200 local unions. Together they represent the two largest affiliates in the Connecticut AFL-CIO, which has spearheaded solidarity actions in support of UFCW members since the strike began.
“We are incredibly grateful to Council 4 and AFT Connecticut for their generous contribution to the joint strike fund,” said UFCW Local 371 Organizing Director Jessica Petronella. “Their members have also been walking picket lines, bringing food and water, and offering words of encouragement and solidarity. This flood of support shows New England is a place that values hard-working union families and believes workers have earned the right to build a better life and community,” added Petronella.
Along with their colleagues in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, members of UFCW Locals 371 and 919 last Thursday launched the largest private sector strike in the United States since 2016. The action followed protracted negotiations in which the company’s Belgium-based corporate owners at Ahold Delhaize attempted to hike employees’ healthcare costs and slash retirement benefits for new hires.
Click here for additonal photos of the donation presentation.
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AFT Connecticut represents approximately 30,000 hard-working women and men in PreK-12 education, healthcare, public service and higher education from more than 90 local unions throughout the state. For more information, visit or follow the labor federation on Twitter at @AFTCT and on Facebook at AFT Connecticut.
Council 4 of the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) represents 35,000 workers throughout Connecticut in state and local government, as well as the private sector. For more information, visit or follow the labor federation on Twitter at @AFSCMECT4 and on Facebook at Council 4 AFSCME.

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