No Grocery Strike, for Now

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The national president of a grocery workers union has canceled a vote by Colorado members on a contract offer from three large chains.

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union President Joe Hansen asked a federal mediator Thursday to reopen negotiations.

Front Range workers had started voting on proposals from King Soopers, Safeway and Albertsons this month. But Hansen stepped in and rejected the offer.

Hansen says the offer's health-care provisions could be "injurious to our members."

Local 7 of the union represents 17,500 workers in Colorado.

About 1,200 union grocery workers on the Western Slope are covered by a separate contract. Contract talks began for them last week.

On Thursday, a spokesperson for the union also said there will not be a Colorado Grocery workers strike over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Instead, workers are asking the federal mediator to bring Safeway, King Soopers and Albertson’s corporate negotiators back to the bargaining table one more time.

"Think of this as a Thanksgiving present from Colorado grocery workers to every shopper in Colorado,” said worker spokesperson Dave Minshall.

“Colorado grocery workers best opportunity to strike the chains is at Thanksgiving,” Minshall said. “The workers are going to take one more crack at negotiations instead.”

The grocery chains make a large share of their profits over Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, so a strike is most effective over the holidays.