Union rejects “best, latest” offer from King Soopers; Strike is imminent – CBS Denver

DENVER (CBS4) – Only hours are left until thousands of unionized King Soopers employees leave their jobs as part of a bargaining battle with the parent company Kroger. On Tuesday, the company said it made a “best and final” offer in hopes of preventing the impending strike.

“All the money’s on the table right now,” said Jessica Trowbridge, business manager for King Soopers and City Market.

(Credit: Chet Strange / Bloomberg via Getty Images)

According to a release from King Soopers, the offer included an investment of $ 170 million over the next three years that goes to salary increases and bonuses. The company also said it proposed a separate investment in healthcare that would result in “zero impact on the company’s current health premiums” based on current estimates.

“Nobody wins in a strike. Our employees do not win, our customers do not win, and that makes it more difficult to run our business, Trowbridge said.

Just before 5 pm, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 7 turned down the offer. With 95% of the vote, the union will strike “against King Soopers / Kroger for its unfair working practices, and the union will continue with the strike at 05.00 on 12 January 2022.”

“It is clear that King Soopers / City Market will not voluntarily meet the needs of our workers, despite our repeated calls to the company to listen to the voices of our members,” said Kim Cordova, president of UFCW Local 7. We are on strike because it has become clear that this is the only way to get what is fair, just and equitable for the grocery workers who have risked their lives every day just by showing up for work during the pandemic. “

(Credit: CBS)

The strike will involve around 8,400 workers and around 78 shops. Stores already have about 2,400 fewer employees.

The union provided a list of dozens of stores participating across Colorado.

In anticipation of the strike, Trowbridge said King Soopers has recruited staff from other divisions and started hiring hundreds of temporary workers. The company plans to keep all stores open.

Ahead of Wednesday, some customers at King Soopers in Capitol Hill said they plan to continue trading with the company during the strike, while others said they would not cross the strike.

“I’m sure someone in the older generation will see it as a red flag or something, but I think a lot of people my age don’t mind crossing a picket fence to get food,” Arthur Leduc said.

“I support them 100 percent, so I’ll be shopping elsewhere until their requirements are met,” said Andrew Fox.

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