WETHERSFIELD- Hundreds of people -including Stop & Shop employees- gathered in Massachusetts Thursday to hear from former Vice President Joe Biden speak on the struggle union workers across New England are experiencing.
As the strike continues in Connecticut -tensions are beginning to rise as one local Stop & Shop received a frightening threat.
At around 6 p.m. Thursday, customers were asked to evacuate the Stop & Shop on the Berlin Turnpike in Wethersfield. The store manager told police that an unknown man called the store and asked if picketers were still in front of the store. Police say after the manager said they were, the man said he was coming to the store to shoot them with an AK-47.
“I was repairing some refrigerators for them and I heard there was a threat and they made everyone evacuate the store, so all the customers left,” Dave Gamble said.
A little over an hour later the store reopened as police were parked outside both store entrances.
Jennifer Brogan, Stop & Shop's Director of External Communications, said in a statement, "We are aware of the situation that occurred earlier today at our Wethersfield store ... We closed the store out of an abundance of caution for our customers and associates, and we are co-operating with local police."
UFCW released a statement saying:
“All Stop & Shop workers who were at the store are safe. We are deeply grateful to local police for their quick response and thank everyone in the community for their support.”
Vice President of Union 919 Michael Calderon was at the rally in Dorchester, but came straight to the Wethersfield store when he heard about the threat.
“I’m here to just check on the lines to make sure my people are safe,” said Calderon. “We are trying to fight for the lives of the people that work in the stores so this is our lives please don’t do this to us no need for this.”