EAST HARTFORD-- Workers at Stop & Shop supermarkets throughout the state are walking out in protest.
The protest comes after months of unsuccessful negotiations with the supermarket chain. Walk-outs have been reported across the region.
At 1 p.m. Thursday, employees at the Stop & Shop in East Hartford said union stewards got the green light to gather workers to walk off the job.
“Right now we’re a little anxious because nobody really want this of course, but we need to do what we need to do,” Stop & Shop Employee Kim Ali said.
Workers cited contract disagreements over health care, take home pay and benefits.
Over 31,000 New Englanders have been working at Stop & Shop without a contract since February 23rd.
A number of elected officials have come out in support of the strikers. United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Locals 328, 371, 919, 1445 and 1459 represent the workers.
Officials with Stop & Shop issued a statement in part that said, "Given that negotiations with assistance of the federal mediators are continuing, we are disappointed that the UFCW chose to order a work stoppage in an attempt to disrupt service at our stores. Stop & Shop has contingency plans in place to minimize disruption.”
Union officials said contract negotiations are ongoing, so they do not know how long the strike could last.