Contract negotiations have broken down between corporate officials and union workers. Officials say union members will likely vote to strike in the next two weeks.
The UFCW Local 7 released the following statement Friday:
King Soopers and City Market End Bargaining with No Agreement for Thousands of Colorado Workers and their Families
UFCW Local 7 Members Unite for Better Lives for their Families and Better Service for their Customers
DENVER - Tonight, negotiations for a new contract for more than 12,000 members of UFCW Local 7 who work at King Soopers and City Market across Colorado ended after their employers abruptly walked out of the room and did not return.
“UFCW members are proud to serve King Soopers and City Market customers,” said UFCW Local 7 President Kim Cordova. “We are committed to making King Soopers and City Market a better place to work and shop, but we can’t do that without a partnership with the company.”
King Soopers and City Market said they didn’t want to negotiate further and left in the middle of scheduled bargaining. This is part of a continuing pattern of King Soopers and City Market ignoring federal law by not bargaining in good faith and attempting to intimidate UFCW members.
This now means UFCW Local 7 members are forced to vote on a contract proposal that will damage their ability to care for their families and serve their customers. Because that proposal is unacceptable, Local 7 members will likely make the tough choice to authorize a strike to protect their families, their communities and their customers.
“King Soopers and City Market’s demands will not only hurt workers but will also affect the customer service and shopping experience our communities have come to know and expect,” said Cordova.
Despite record profits and continued growth as Colorado’s grocery leader, the latest contract proposal from King Soopers and City Market includes no raises for nearly half of workers, fewer full time jobs for our community and no access to sick leave for thousands of workers who handle your family’s food.
“We want the people who touch our food every day to be healthy and have access to quality health care,” continued Cordova. “Any shopper knows that understaffing in stores makes their shopping experience more difficult and less pleasant. King Soopers and City Market can’t be a leader in quality service and quality food if it doesn’t provide better wages and benefits for the men and women who serve our customers.
More than 12,000 workers represented by UFCW Local 7 work at 109 King Soopers and City Market stores in Colorado.
Their current contract ended January 12, 2019 and Local 7 has been engaged in bargaining for new contracts since mid-December.
King Soopers and City Market are owned by The Kroger Co., the largest traditional grocery retailer in America with more than $122 billion in sales last year alone.
In Colorado, they are the leader in grocery sales, with 47% of the grocery sales in the state.
Despite that success, King Soopers and City Market are trying to eviscerate the ability of their employees to care for themselves in their families. Their proposals would result in:
No pay raises over the next three years for around half of their employees
Decreased benefits and increased costs for health care
Fewer full time jobs and fewer hours for part-time workers and more “gig economy” jobs that don’t support families in stores.
Reduced income for more than 10,000 Colorado seniors.
No pay raises or equal access to health care for courtesy clerks, who are disproportionately disabled.
King Soopers released the following statement:
“We want to set the record straight on labor negotiations. It’s unfortunate the facts have been misrepresented. Our associates and customers deserve the truth. Our team has made themselves available to continue negotiating with the union. As negotiations continue our stores and associates will serve our communities as they always have. To be clear our offer makes significant investments in our associates:
Increase in wages
Incremental investments to the employee pension plan
Continued investment to best in class healthcare at no additional cost
We know our associates are the heart of King Soopers/City Market and we will continue to negotiate with them and our communities in mind.”
Stay with 11 News as this story develops.