Joe Biden to speak at rally in support of striking supermarket workers

/ CBS/AP

Former Vice President Joe Biden will speak at a rally Thursday to support striking employees of Stop & Shop near Boston, Massachusetts, the union announced Tuesday. Thousands of Stop & Shop employees at 240 stores in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island went on strike last week over what they say is an unfair contract proposal.

Biden tweeted the day after the strike began that the supermarket's plan to cut employee wages and benefits "is wrong." Thursday's rally will be held at the location in Dorchester, a working-class neighborhood in Boston.

2020 Democratic hopeful and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, visited the Somerville, Massachusetts, store Friday to drop off donuts and cheer on the workers, CBS Boston reports.

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According to CBS Boston, the United Food and Commercial Workers labor union said the disagreement is over wages, health care and retirement benefits. Stop & Shop said providing comprehensive health care for qualifying employees continues to be part of its offer.

The 30,000 workers on strike have seen support from various politicians over the last several days. U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark stopped at a store in Malden, Massachusetts. On Monday, U.S. Reps. Joe Kennedy and Bill Keating joined workers in Fall River. Sen. Ed Markey brought pizza to a store in Quincy, Massachusetts.

On Monday, former Boston Bruins and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ray Bourque was caught on video exiting a North Andover Stop & Shop as a worker said "Shame on you." He has since apologized and said he plans to join the picket line when he can.

First published on April 16, 2019 / 10:21 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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