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

DENVER (KDVR) — King Soopers and the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 have sat down to work to reach an agreement on better wages and conditions for workers.

A day of negotiations did not go well according to the Local 7 union.

Union President Kim Cordova posted a video update Friday afternoon saying the two sides got nowhere.

“Joe Kelley [Kings Soopers’ president] He showed up, which surprised me but I’m glad he came to the table today. We’ve had some back and forth this morning. It’s been very unproductive, the company came in and they’ve acted very unprofessionally and in fact they’ve been yelling almost across the table,” Córdova said.

She said that things got so dangerous that the King Soopers leaders stormed out of the meeting.

King Soopers responded by issuing a statement to KDVR:

This is a misrepresentation of the truth. In fact, Joe is passionate about advocating on behalf of our associates. The rhetoric and falsehoods do nothing for our associates and they deserve better.

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

Jessica Trowbridge, King Soopers and City Market Corporate Affairs

The union released a statement at 7:30 p.m. Friday that said:

After days of striking and repeatedly calling on King Soopers to listen to employee voices and cease the Company’s unfair labor practices, members of UFCW Local 7 today met with King Soopers leaders to continue discussions on a new collective bargaining agreement. Unfortunately, after only 68 minutes of table discussion throughout the day, during which King Soopers did not submit a single proposal, while the Union submitted new offers on twelve (12) different topics covered by the competing proposals from the parties, the discussions ended for the day.

Essential Workers, who have put their lives on the line during this pandemic to feed the Colorado community, have taken to the picket lines this week, raising their voices to protest unfair labor practices at King Scoopers/Kroger. Our voices have fallen on deaf ears.

The offer that King Soopers has on the table for workers today is even worse than it was in the days before the strike, ignoring virtually every proposal put forth by workers, with no new financial gains, and even omitting $200,000 sale bonuses. 4,000 that King Soopers had previously offered workers to accept a concession contract.

The latest King Soopers proposal contains numerous poison pill provisions, one of which would make the Company’s proposed salaries worth less than the paper they are printed on. Under this proposal, workers could lose daily overtime pay and some are seeking wages. cuts up to $3.34 per hour.

King Soopers leadership has been aware of the struggles of its essential workers for years. Last night, More Perfect Union posted excerpts from an internal King Soopers presentation that showcased the abject poverty our members live in, often without a place to sleep or food to eat. So it’s no surprise that, once again, King Soopers decided to do nothing.

Our strike against unfair labor practices at King Soopers will continue until the Company comes to the table in good faith and listens to workers’ voices. We remain hopeful that the Company truly sees and listens to our members and ultimately decides to respect us, protect us and pay us what we deserve.

Kim Cordova, President of UFCW Local 7

The two groups decided that they would meet around 11 am on Friday morning to work on a compromise. The groups have been going back and forth all week with the grocer accusing the union of using stalemate tactics, but the union said they are coming to the table in good faith. The picket lines will remain active as they work on a solution. Negotiations are scheduled to continue on Saturday.

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