iBerkshires.com  reports  Stop & Shop employees walked out at supermarkets across New England on Thursday afternoon, saying the grocery chain has "continued to bargain in bad faith."
"Everything we are asking for in a new contract is completely reasonable.
Taking care of the workers that have made this company successful is the right for Stop & Shop to do," reads an update from leaders of United Food and Commercial Workers locals posted online on Thursday morning.
"We offered to form a subcommittee on negotiations as an effort to keep discussions with Stop & Shop going and negotiate in good faith."
Stop & Shop officials say they "remain ready and available to meet with the union locals at any time."
Employees at the North Adams store walked out about 1 p.m. on Thursday; store managers ushered customers out and locked the doors.
Some 31,000 workers represented by five UFCW locals have been working without a contract since Feb. 23, when the previous three-year contract expired. They overwhelmingly in early March authorized a strike vote if a contract could not be reached. 
A federal mediator was brought in in an attempt to bring the two sides closer, but updates by union leadership indicated that there was a significant gap between the two parties.