King Soopers workers set for strike starting Wednesday

King Soopers workers set for strike starting Wednesday

The headquarters of Kroger is shown in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S. June 28, 2018. REUTERS Lisa Baertlein File Photo

Jan 11, Reuters - The union representing more than 8,700 King Soopers supermarket workers rejected the Kroger-owned KR.N Colorado chain's increased wage offer, setting the stage for a three-week strike starting Wednesday.

King Soopers, the largest grocery chain in Colorado, has sweetened a wage offer to workers of UFCW Local 7 to $170 million, calling it their last, best and final offer. The union rejected several previous offers, including a $148 million investment in wages and signing bonuses over three years, last week.

Kim Cordova, the president of UFCW Local 7, said in a statement that the company's last, best, and final offer, in many ways, is worse than its previous offers.

Cordova said the company's wage offer still doesn't cut it and retains many of its previously proposed concessions and adds new concessions.

The union wants to increase wages by at least $6 per hour for all workers. The company's last, best and final offer proposed raises of up to $4.50 per hour based on job classification and tenure, which was the same as its previous proposal.

A full-time checker with five years of experience will get an annual compensation of $47,000, compared with $46,000 in the previous offer, or an additional 50 cents per hour in 2022, according to the proposal.

The company said in a statement that this offer will not only put more money in associates' pockets but will also bring stability to our associates and Coloradans who have endured enough uncertainty and disruption.

UFCW Local 7 said it would be out on the picket lines at 5 AM MT on Wednesday.

More than 8,700 UFCW Local 7 workers from 78 King Soopers stores are expected to participate in the strike, Cordova said in a press conference.

King Soopers operates more than 100 stores in Colorado.