More than 70 union members have gathered for a 24 hour strike outside the South Portland Distribution Center.
They’re demanding that Delhaize America Distribution, LLC, a subsidiary of Hannaford owner Ahold Delhaize, resume contract negotiations. The local United Food and Commercial Workers union, which has more than 200 members, voted to reject a proposed contract last week. It would have lowered hiring wages and, according to union representatives, provided inadequate healthcare coverage.
“We’ve had enough and we decided we had to take actions and give this company a wake up call that we’re serious about getting a good contract,” says Jeff Bolin, union president.
Striking workers intend to return to work tomorrow with the hope negotiation are resumed as soon as possible. Ahold Delhaize released a statement saying it's disappointed in the union’s choice to strike, but doesn't expect the action to affect customers.
A meeting to resolve the disputes that led to the strike was scheduled for Feb. 26. Union spokesman Jim Carvalho said earlier this morning that the meeting is still expected to occur.
This story was updated Feb. 21, 2018 at 11:30 a.m. ET.