DENVER (CBS4) – There are only hours left before thousands of unionized King Soopers employees give up their jobs as part of a negotiation battle with parent company Kroger. On Tuesday the company said it had made a “best and last” offer in hopes of preventing the impending strike.
“All the money is on the table right now,” said Jessica Trowbridge, corporate affairs manager at King Soopers and City Market.
According to a King Soopers press release, that offer included an investment of $ 170 million over the next three years in wage increases and bonuses. The company also said it is proposing a separate investment in health services that would result in “no impact on current employee health premiums” based on current projections.
“Nobody wins on a strike. Our people don’t win, our customers don’t win, and that makes it harder to do our business, ”said Trowbridge.
Shortly before 5 p.m. Local 7 of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) rejected the offer. With a 95% majority, the union “will strike against King Soopers / Kroger for his unfair labor practices, and the union will continue the strike on January 12, 2022 at 5am”.
“King Soopers / City Market is obviously not going to voluntarily meet the needs of our workers, despite our repeated requests 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’s It it has become clear that this is the only way to be just, just and just for the food workers who risk their lives every day just by showing up to work during the pandemic. “
About 8,400 workers and 78 shops will be involved in the strike. Branches with around 2,400 employees are already working less.
The union provided a list of dozen of participating businesses across Colorado.
In anticipation of the strike, Trowbridge said King Soopers had brought employees from other departments and started hiring hundreds of temporary workers. The company plans to keep all branches open.
Prior to Wednesday, some customers of the King Sooper in Capitol Hill said they plan to continue shopping at the company during the strike, while others said they would not cross the picket line.
“I’m sure some people 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,” said Arthur Leduc.
“I support them 100 percent, so I’ll shop elsewhere until their demands are met,” said Andrew Fox.