Shaw’s Strikers Rally as Health Care Is Cut

METHUEN, Mass. — Striking workers of Shaw’s distribution center here planned rallies at various Shaw’s locations Thursday to protest the retailer’s actions to hire replacement workers and cut off health insurance for striking workers, union sources said.

Warehouse workers represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 791 have been on strike since March 7. The union said activists would “set up a corporate crime scene” at the company’s Prudential Center store in Boston.

Shaw’s spokeswoman Rebekah Fawcett confirmed to SN that the company discontinued health insurance payments as of Thursday. “It’s unfortunate that the union continues to perpetuate this unnecessary strike,” Shaw’s said in a statement. “All Methuen associates understood the potential risks of striking. Though it is difficult to take this step now, we need to act with the long-term best interests of our business and 25,000 other associates in mind.”

The company added that its contract offer is still on the table and would increase wages for all workers, increase Shaw's health care contributions on employees' behalf by 19%, keep their health care premiums below the national and regional averages, and provide access to a company-paid pension and a 401(k) plan with a company match.

Shaw’s is a division of Supervalu, Minneapolis.