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King Soopers and the union agree to an agreement

King Soopers and City Market have signed a tentative deal to a tentative agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 7 after nine days of striking at 77 of the stores in the Denver metropolitan region. The chief executive of King Soopers and City Market, Joe Kelley, wrote in a press release “We are delighted that this arrangement allows us to add more cash in the pay of our associates as well as secures pension and healthcare plans. We are looking at welcoming back our customers and our associates.”

UFCW Local 7 will now communicate the terms of the agreement with its members , and then hold the process of voting. The union announced on social media in the early hours of Friday morning, asking its members to take down the pickets. The union also stated that members are allowed seven days to return to work, and they will get the full amount of credit for Friday and Saturday , even although they occupied the workplace all day for 8 hours. Vote-related meetings are currently being planned.

A large number of grocery workers who are unionized in Colorado left work Wednesday, January. 12 in an unofficial strike of three weeks with King Soopers. There are 77 stores within the Denver metro area are affected.

This follows following the news that King Soopers announced that it had sent it its “last best and most prestigious offer.” In a post through its web site the 12th of January. 12, King Soopers said in part, “The company has tried every effort to reach an agreement without triggering the possibility of a strike. Local 7 left the bargaining table in the morning on Thursday and did not return.”

On the Tuesday of January. 11th, Kim Cordova, the President of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 7, Kim Cordova, made a statement in a video, “They don’t get to claim it as a last and the best offer. They must make it available to us so that we can have questions and review the proposal so that both sides are aware of what the goals of their offer.”

Cordova was on the lines of pickets early on Wednesday morning.

The union representing about 17,000 employees at Kroger/King Soopers in Colorado and Wyoming called for a strike in January. 7 after members of more than 87 King Soopers locations in Denver and Colorado Springs have voted to approve one.

“This is the direct consequence from the company’s poor trust at the bargaining table.” Cordova said in a earlier statement.

King Soopers replied on January. 8 weekend, saying that it had sent a letter to Cordova in which it asked Cordova to establish dates to continue bargaining immediately. It also asked the union to accept a mediator from the federal level to assist in these negotiations.

UFCW7 held a press conference on Monday afternoon on Jan. 10, where members shared their stories and appeals for King Soopers for higher wages and better benefits. Cordova added that they’re planning to bring in others members who are out of state to support the protest. They also don’t want to bargain with federal mediators.

In the words of UCFW Local 7 the union, after 17 hours of talks between King Soopers/City Market on Jan. 4 and 5 it made the company an offer. UFCW Local 7 said it provided the company with until midnight on Friday , January 4, to acceptthe offer, however, the company then presented its own contract.

“After repeated efforts to bring the end of King Soopers’ unfair labor policies, which sought to block grocery workers from being able to secure one of the most competitive contracts in the industry. King Soopers has left us with no option but to call for an unjust strike on labor practices,” saidCordova in a press release that was sent for distribution to Rocky Mountain PBS. “Grocery workers make sure that communities are able to access food, yet they can’t have the money to provide for their families. King Soopers has decided to safeguard its bottom line instead of protecting the workers who risk their lives every day since the beginning of the pandemic simply by showing up for work.”

UFCW Local 7 said the bargaining committee has presented a plan which could result in an industry-leading contract of three years for King Soopers and City Market workers. The highlights include:

  • Pay increases of at least $6 per hour during the first year of agreement for all classes
  • $1.50 increase in wages during the years 2 and 3 in the contract.
  • A new health insurance plan.
  • Benefits for pensioners and workers currently employed.
  • Double time during every holiday worked by all employees.
  • A safety plan, which includes the presence of law enforcement officers armed and off duty in all retail stores.
  • A four-step pay progression making sure that workers can reach the level of journeyman wages sooner.

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