Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers

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Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg joined picketing Stop & Shop workers Friday in Massachusetts as the South Bend, Ind., mayor seeks to gin up support amid rising polls and strong fundraising numbers.

Buttigieg met with the picketers at around noon at Stop & Shop’s store in Malden. The candidate was already planning a campaign state in nearby New Hampshire. 

Neither Buttigieg’s campaign nor a spokesperson for the workers immediately responded to requests for comment from The Hill.

{mosads}Former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have already showed solidarity with the strikers ahead of a 2020 race in which Democratic candidates are seeking to underline their support for labor groups.

Biden appeared in Boston Thursday at a rally backing the workers.

“In the last 5 years, @StopandShop’s parent company has bought back billions of dollars in stock. Now they want to cut employee wages & benefits. This is wrong. I stand with the 31,000 @UFCW workers fighting for their healthcare,” Biden, who is expected to announce his presidential bid in the coming days, tweeted last week.

Thousands of Stop & Shop union workers went on strike last Friday amid an ongoing contract dispute to protest against expected cuts to take-home pay, health care and other benefits.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union says 31,000 of its members are involved in the strikes, which are taking place at several New England Stop & Shop branches.

“The hard-working men and women at over 240 stores in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island are standing together to tell Stop & Shop that it is time to do the right thing. The men and women who make Stop & Shop a success have earned and deserve affordable health care, a good wage, and the ability to retire with dignity,” the union said in a statement

“They have earned and deserve a good job that allows them to do what they do best: provide the very best customer service for New England communities.” 

Buttigieg, Biden, Sanders and Warren are all expected to court the support of working-class voters in states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin who buoyed President Trump to victory in 2016.

Updated at 1:15 p.m.

Tags Bernie Sanders Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden Pete Buttigieg

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