Business

KING SOOPERS STRIKE: Grocer and union’s negotiation goes nowhere

DENVER (KDVR) – The King Soopers and the local 7 United Food and Commercial Workers union sat down to work out an agreement on improving wages and conditions for workers.

A day of negotiations did not go well according to the local Sevens Association.

Federation President Kim Cordova released a video update on Friday afternoon in which he said the two parties were getting nowhere.

“Joe Kelly” [Kings Soopers’ president] I was surprised but glad he came to the table today. We had some back and forth this morning. “It was very unproductive, I walked in and they acted very unprofessional and were actually almost screaming across the table,” Cordova said.

As things became so difficult, she said, the King Soopers leadership withdrew from the meeting.

King Soopers responded by issuing a statement to KDVR:

This is a distortion of the truth. Joe is actually passionate about advocating on behalf of our partners. Rhetoric and lies do nothing to benefit our partners and they deserve better.

Our position remains the same, we have put all the money on the table and our partners should have the right to choose what is best for them and their families – let them vote.

Jessica Trowbridge, King Soopers and City Market affairs

The union issued a statement at 7:30 pm Friday, which read:

After days of striking and repeatedly asking King Soopers to listen to employee voices and stop the company’s unfair labor practices, members of UFCW Local 7 met with King Soopers leadership today to continue discussions on a new collective bargaining agreement. Unfortunately, after only 68 minutes of cross-table discussions that spread throughout the day, during which King Soopers did not make a single proposal, while the Federation made new presentations on twelve (12) different topics covering the competing parties’ proposals, the discussions ended for the day.

Essential workers, who have put their lives at risk during this pandemic to feed the Colorado community, stood in line this week, raising their voices together to protest unfair labor practices at King Scoopers/Kroger. Our voices have fallen on deaf ears.

The offer that King Soopers put on the table for workers today is worse than it was in the days before the strike, ignoring nearly all proposals made by workers, with no new economic gain—and even omitting the $4,000 sale bonus that King Soopers had been offering workers in Previous to get them to accept the concession contract.

King Soopers’ latest proposal contains several toxic pill provisions, which would make the company’s proposed pay rates lower than the paper it’s printed on. Under this proposal, workers can lose daily overtime pay and some look into wages cuts It comes to $3.34 an hour.

The King Soopers leadership has been aware of the struggles of its core workers for years. Last night, More Perfect Union released parts of the King Soopers internal presentation that showed the extreme poverty in which our members live, often with no place to sleep or food to eat. Therefore, it was no surprise that King Soopers once again decided to do nothing.

Our strike against unfair labor practices from King Soopers will continue until the company comes to the negotiating table in good faith and hears the voices of workers. We still hope that the company will really see and hear our members and finally decide to respect, protect and pay what we deserve.

Kim Cordova, President of UFCW Local 7

The two groups decided they would meet around 11 a.m. Friday to work out a compromise. Groups have been rocking back and forth all week as the grocer accused the union of using stall tactics but the union said it would come to the table in good faith. The pickup lines will hold up while they work on a solution. Negotiations are scheduled to continue on Saturday.

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