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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

King Sopers strike: Union, grocery chain reach tentative agreement

King Sopers and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 announced Friday morning that they have reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining deal that is immediately ending a 10-day-long strike at grocery Metro Denver stores.

The three-year deal still needs approval, and union members will begin voting on Monday. The terms of the new contract have not yet been made public.

According to the union, the agreement will guarantee respect, safety, and fair wages for grocery workers at King Sopers stores across Colorado.

“After months of negotiations and after our members have gone on strike, we have reached a tentative agreement with King Sopers / City Market that addresses the company’s unfair labor practices and ensures that our members will receive the respect, pay and protection they warrant,” UFCW Local 7 president Kim Cordova said in a news release. “This fight will always be for the workers. I cannot be proud of our members who put everything on the line to make their voices heard. ,

More than 8,000 workers at 78 stores in the Denver metro area went on strike on January 12 to protest the company’s labor practices after the contract expired throughout Colorado. The strike was to last for three weeks.

“We are delighted that this agreement allows us to put more money into the paychecks of our partners and to secure health care and pension plans,” Joe Kelly, president of King Sopers & City Markets, said in a news release. “We look forward to welcoming our partners and customers.”

Cordova said the community’s support in not crossing picket lines helped members get a contract they deserve and can be proud of. He thanked the customers of King Sopers who chose to shop elsewhere in the last 10 days.

“At Local 7 we are all proud to fight on behalf of our members, who come to work every day, filling shelves to feed our communities through this ongoing pandemic, while barely keeping our feed and provide for their families,” Cordova said. “We didn’t ask for this fight, but the company chose to turn profits on people for so long and failed to listen to the workers who made its success possible.”

Details of the contract “will be made public to members in the coming days,” the union said in its news release.

During negotiations, King Sopers has proposed raising the starting wage to at least $16 an hour—13 cents above Denver’s minimum wage. A spokesperson for the chain said the average hourly wage of King Sopers is $18.29.

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