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Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Labor disputes continue as King sops, union remains on the bargaining table

Labor Disputes Continue As King Sops, Union Remains On The Bargaining Table

As workers at Denver-area King Sopers walked on picket lines for a sixth day, negotiators from the union and Colorado’s largest grocery chain met Monday in contract negotiations, which each side accused of unfair labor practices. imposed and refused to bargain in good. Faith.

Leading to a fourth straight day of talks, union representatives said little progress had been made despite “over 12 proposals back and forth” with the company. Company representatives said the Union of Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 did not introduce any new proposals on wages, health care or pensions on Friday.

The meeting on Friday lasted for 68 minutes. It was the first bargaining session since 6 January when the union rejected a proposal that was described as “full of concessions” that King Sopers wants from workers.

Union president Kim Cordova said in a video on the UFCW Local 7 Facebook page: “We spent the first day in conversation listening to the screams of corporate executives, yelling at members, and the utter disdain and disrespect for workers.”

King Soopers spokeswoman Jessica Trowbridge said in an email Monday that the union “continues to choose rhetoric and confusion to deflect attention from its failure to represent its members and allow the company to put more money into its paychecks.” Is.”

The company wants the union to allow its members to vote on a proposal rejected by the union’s bargaining committee.

More than 8,000 workers began a strike Wednesday at 68 stores in Boulder, Parker and the metro area, a day after the union rejected King Sopers’ “last, best offer.” The offer included $170 million in pay increases, health care benefits and bonuses ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 upon ratification of the contract.

King Sopers’ contracts with the stores on strike expired on 8 January. Other contracts with King Sopers and Citi Market, both owned by Cincinnati-based Kroger, expire later in January and February.

UFCW Local 7, which represents 17,000 grocery workers in Colorado and Wyoming, agreed to expand contract negotiations with Albertsons, which owns Safeway and Albertsons grocery stores.

King Sopers has proposed increasing his starting salary to $16 an hour. The union called the proposal inadequate, saying it was only 13 cents more than Denver’s minimum wage. The union’s offer includes a starting salary of $18.56 and “threat” reinstatement, which the company offered when the coronavirus pandemic began and ended a few months later in May 2020.

Wages have been important to Jay Burnham, a King Soopers employee for nearly 30 years.

“But the main issue right now, the reason we voted to strike, is because of unfair labor practices,” said Burnham, who works at a Glendale store. “They are bringing people into stock shelves who are not part of the union.”

UFCW Local 7 filed a lawsuit in federal court in late December alleging that King Sopers was using third-party staffing services to perform union-covered work.

King Sopers filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board on January 10, accusing the union of unfairly bargaining.

Jeffrey Zacks, a professor of economics at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said of the strike, “It’s a real test of not only willpower, but the strength of the market.” “In a pandemic environment, the question of whether either party has an accurate assessment of its relative market power is an interesting one as market power has shifted.”

Jacques said that the labor shortage gave labor a greater advantage in the market. Millions of people have not returned to their pre-pandemic jobs or have left jobs because of concerns about COVID-19, a lack of child care or a desire to find a different job.

World Nation News Desk
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