Workers at King Soopers and City Market stores went on strike in Colorado early Wednesday morning, escalating a contract fight between parent company Kroger and the employee union.
The workers’ collective bargaining agreement expired last week after they rejected an offer from the company. Then they turned down what Kroger called its “last, best and final” proposal on Tuesday night, saying the company needed to offer better pay raises and benefits and stronger safety protocols to avoid the walkout.
The dispute involves more than 8,000 workers at 77 stores, most of them under the King Soopers banner. The workers’ union, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, asked supporters not to shop at the stores during the work stoppage.
“Until the strike is resolved, please consider an alternative,” the union tweeted Tuesday night, urging supporters to chip in to the workers’ strike fund.
UFCW Local 7 President Kim Cordova laced into the company at a press conference on Monday, saying grocery workers had been mistreated throughout the pandemic while their employers raked in soaring profits.
“The companies were thriving, but our workers didn’t thrive,” Cordova said. “Know what our workers got? COVID. Attacked. Beat up. Spit on. Slapped. Overworked. And the company? They did great. They did absolutely great, sitting behind their desk doing their job by Zoom.”