Union Workers Reject Contract Extension With Kroger
GRAND JUNCTION, CO - Kroger is in hot water with a recent announcement from the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 union declaring it will be ending a contract extension with the grocer. The union represents around 12,200 workers from King Soopers and City Market stores, both owned by Kroger, according to the Washington Post. Ending the contract extension does not necessarily mean a strike is imminent, but it could be if negotiations continue the way they have been going.
According to a press release, the withdrawal went into effect on Monday, February 25, and will affect around 109 King Soopers and City Market stores throughout Colorado. The union has been bargaining with the stores since mid-December. Current collective bargaining agreements started to expire on January 12 but were extended by mutual agreement. Any good will that may have been built up was quickly dashed during continuing negotiations.
“On the eighth day of negotiations (February 25), more than 150 members showed up to bargaining! King Soopers, after making workers wait for over three hours after the appointed time, made its first comprehensive series of proposals for your next contract (including wages and benefits),” according to the union’s most recent negotiation update.
The union took major issues with the company’s Comprehensive Economic Proposal and non-economic proposals, which the union described as “insulting” and an attempt to “slash benefits and union protections,” according to the update.
The company’s Comprehensive Economic Proposal would allegedly include:
- No raises to current rates during the next three years for over 47 percent of King Soopers and City Market workers
- Those who do get a raise would receive just 15 or 25 cents an hour
- Ratification bonus only under one proposal of just $150 for part-time and $250 for full-time employees
- Require increased co-pays and slash benefits for Union healthcare plans, including for retirees
- Slash benefits for Union pension plan for all employers—not just King Soopers
“The bargaining parties have made little progress in the negotiations, and remain far apart on a wide variety of critical issues, including but not limited to, two-tier benefit discrimination, workplace safety, overtime protections, benefits for victims of domestic abuse, experience credit for all members of America’s armed forces, and whether sick grocery workers should nonetheless be compelled to work,” stated the press release.
Will negotiations resume, and will both sides ever reach a consensus? AndNowUKnow will deliver all the updates.