King Soopers

King Soopers on Cheyenne Meadows Road in Colorado Springs.

More than 8,000 workers at nearly 80 King Soopers stores went on strike for better wages and benefits on Wednesday after the latest round of negotiations between the Kroger Co-owned Colorado chain and the union failed.

The strike started at 7:00 a.m. ET and will go on for three weeks, UFCW Local 7 union said. The workers on strike are employed at King Soopers stores in the Denver metropolitan area, Boulder, Parker and Broomfield cities of Colorado, among others.

Kroger said King Soopers would remain open as it has brought in workers from across the country and hired temporary staff to fill in for those striking.

This is the latest in a string of labor strikes in the United States following similar events at Kellogg Co's U.S. cereal plants and Deere & Co as rising cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and inflation push workers to demand higher wages and better working conditions.

At King Soopers, workers have sought an increase in wages of at least $6 per hour for all. However, the company's "last, best and final offer" proposed raises of up to $4.50 per hour based on job classification and tenure.

The company's final offer, which was made on Tuesday, said it would invest $170 million in wages and bonuses over the next three years. It will offer a starting pay of $16 per hour and will invest more in healthcare benefits.

This came after the union rejected two previous wage offers, the latest among them for $148 million, made last week.

Kim Cordova, the president of UFCW Local 7, said Tuesday's offer was worse than the previous offers in many ways. She said the offer "still doesn't cut it" and retains many of the previously proposed concessions and adds new concessionary items.

Kroger does not disclose sales of King Soopers, which operates more than 110 stores in Colorado and is the No. 1 grocery chain in the state by market share.

But investment research firm CFRA said the King Soopers/City Market stores in Colorado account for about 5% of Kroger's annual sales. Kroger recorded sales of $132.5 billion in the year to Jan. 30.

"Depending on how long the strike goes on, there could be long-term implications on market share, as Walmart and Albertsons are top competitors to Kroger in the Colorado area," CFRA Research analyst Arun Sundaram said.

Several customers turned to social media on Wednesday to voice their support for the union and also said they would boycott Kroger during the strike.

"I will not cross a picket line or spend a dollar at Kroger until workers get respect and protection," Colorado State Senator Jessie Danielson, a Democrat, said in a tweet.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale and Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Aditya Soni)

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(5) comments

shdaingerj

(I do not like unions period! When I worked at SCM back in Central New York in snowbelt it was a nightmare at times and I din feel like we were getting a decent break because Unions did not listen to us and they made more than we did in the end ! Now this was back in 1967 when oldest son was born wages at the time that I made $1.25 a hr. not enough to pay babysitter even for the week! Now Hubby worked there as well and he made twice what I made doing same thing on the line! Now tell me that was that was that fair? I also worked as a chamber maid ,today they are called housekeepers and did that for a while but still not enough to pay babysitter! Rarely any tips either because person who worked room before got them and did not share like they were supposed too, even back then it was crappy tipping!!! Now people do not have to work as Biden has given them Money to stay home! Thank you, President Biden, so now we have to pay for people to stay home on our hard earned Tax money it that fair? So many families are living in three generations home because Rent's are out of this world greedy landlords and high cost of living now right through the sky and so is a Mortgage! How can young people today afford to live on their own and learn to grow up! I can tell you part of the reason, because they want to spend money on Tattoos and bars and whatever is about them personally! Not how to save and figure out how to save money for a place of their own to live and have their own privacy! Moms & dads today need to let their children learn how to manage money and grow up that they can not live their own lives without depending om mom& dad permanently! I see where parents are going into debt to help their loved ones today and it is so stressful for all of them! When grandkids come into the picture it gets worse as mom &dad end up taking care of grandkids too! Parents are getting runover and it's stressful for them as they are free babysitters! Their freedom is gone and they work too! Get The Message mom& dads?

Fastolds

$4.60 hr raise not bad for most of you lazy a?ss and stoned on pot people. I go into one of your stores, half of you don’t know what time it is or nothing about the products you sell,shop at Walmart

Gerald B

Unions are nothing but a bunch of thugs using strikes to extort money from private companies

Gerald B

Unions are nothing but a bunch of thugs using strikes to extort money from private companies. Socialism doesn't work.

Sojourner

Nobody wins in a strike. I was working for Kings during the last two they had. It's always a mess. Hope they can get this resolved as quickly as possible.

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