DENVER (CBS4) – Shoppers in Colorado may soon see employees of their favorite King Soopers outside the store and on the picket lines. That's because negotiations abruptly ended on Thursday night between the parent company, Kroger, and UFCW Local 7 Union.
The union represents about 12,000 King Soopers and City Market employees. Both parties have been trying to agree on a new union contract since December; thus far, nothing has worked.
The union claims Kroger is depriving about half of their employees of pay raises over the next three years, fewer full-time jobs, and reduced income for about 10,000 Colorado seniors.
"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. (The company) 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," added Cordova.
Adam Williamson, with King Soopers/City Market Corporate Affairs, also issued 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."
CBS4's Mekialaya White asked some customers about the potential move, and if they would continue to shop at their local King Soopers if employees were to strike.
"Very much so, yes. That's not going to stop me from shopping here," said Landon Roy, who frequents the King Soopers at 9th Avenue and Corona Street.
Mats Weissenberg picks up groceries there, too.
"I would go elsewhere because this is my store, and I just feel for the employees. I would give them all of my support," he explained.
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