King Soopers

The negotiations among Kroger’s King Soopers grocery store chain and the union which represents more than 8,700 Colorado workers had failed last week. The employees have now gone for a three-week strike started last Wednesday.

Disagreement on Proposal

More than 8,000 employees working at nearly 80 King Soopers stores went on strike. Their demands include higher wages and better benefits. The strike started at 7:00 a.m. ET. The workers on strike work at King Soopers stores in the Denver metropolitan area, Boulder, Parker and Broomfield cities of Colorado. This is the latest among the string of strikes posed by workers in United States. The events are quite similar to ones witnessed by Kellogg Co’s U.S. cereal plants and Deere & Co. The increased number of Omicron cases and rising inflation across United States is pushing workers to demand high wages and improved working conditions.

Union Demanding Higher Wages and Better Benefits

At King Soopers, the workers are demanding an increase of at least $6 an hour for all employees irrespective of their job classifications. However, the company have proposed an increase of $4.5 an hour based on job classification and tenure. This is a bit higher compared to their previous proposal. However, the union has decided to call off the negotiations and they started the strike on Wednesday.

According to company’s final offer, they will invest $170 million in wages and bonuses during the next three years. Alongside, it will offer a staring pay of $16 an hour and will offer better healthcare benefits. The negotiations were going on for some time. Last month, the retail giant offered more than $145 million in new wages during the next four years. This will bring the average hourly wage for 75% of associates to more than $18 and to over $20 for more than 50% of them. The union rejected the offer, following which the company sweetened it to $148 million in wages and signing bonuses over three years.

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    King Soopers Filed Charge of unfair Practices

    Amid to strike, the company has now filed unfair practices charge against the union for refusing to bargain in good faith. King Soopers stated in a statement on last Monday. The union has not given any indication of when they will return to the negotiation process.

    King Soopers operates more than 100 store chains in Colorado. They are state’s number one grocery chain store in terms of market share. Its sales have boomed during the pandemic, with shares of its parent Kroger hitting a record high last week.

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