COLORADO SPRINGS — On Thursday, Jan. 6, King Soopers released a proposal to striking workers ahead of their contract expiring Friday night, which would increase rate of pay to 16 dollars an hour.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 is a local union of Colorado and Wyoming, negotiating for the grocery chain employees, and they said they are not accepting the offer. The union announced that shortly after the proposal, employees voted nearly unanimously on a plan to strike.

“The safety proposals they’ve given us counters on are inadequate and insufficient and not enough to cover what the workers need or the customers, for that matter, to be able to work and shop in a safe environment,” said Kevin Schneider, UFCW Local 7 Secretary Treasurer.

The union cited issues with wage and safety practices especially during COVID and in light of the recent shooting at a King Soopers in Boulder. Credit: File

The union asked for changes to safety measures, because the employees have risked their own health and well-being working during COVID and other difficult times — citing the recent shooting at a King Soopers in Boulder.

“King Soopers, instead of coming to the table and saying, you know what, employees? You’ve done an excellent job for us these last 21 months. We’ve made billions of dollars in profit, more money than we’ve ever made in the past and we’re going to make all these improvements to make your lives better in appreciation for what you’ve done for our company. Instead they come in and offer concessions,” Schneider said.

UFCW Secretary Treasurer, Kevin Schneider, said the union did not agree with the concessions made by King Soopers. Credit: Brandon Thompson

King Soopers said they would invest 148-million dollars in new wages and signing bonuses over the next three years.

They responded to the unfair labor practice concern saying, “While Local 7 is threatening a strike based on alleged unfair labor practices, practices which are just that –alleged. King Soopers/City Market has followed the law and has NOT received any notice of wrongdoing from the National Labor Relations Board.”

King Soopers said they will bring in temp workers during the strike. Although the strike date hasn’t yet been set, the union said it could be as early as Saturday night.