*Editor’s note: As of 6 p.m., neither side has agreed to a contract, and the strike continues.
(CBS4) – Saturday marked day 4 of the ongoing King Soopers strike in Colorado after the company and the UFCW Local 7 met and “made little progress.”
Several local organizations are standing in solidarity with those on the picket lines.
The Party for Socialism and Liberation of Denver is one of several groups in the state in unity with the UFCW Local 7 union workers on strike asking for better pay and more safety precautions such as pandemic hazard pay.
“We’re here to support these workers who have been so essential in the pandemic,” said Lillian House with the Party for Socialism and Liberation. “They’ve done it with not a lot of protection and not a lot of support, and now they’re facing their benefits being downgraded, healthcare being downgraded. You know, as a community who really depends on grocery workers, we have to stand with them and say ‘we’re not going to allow that.'”
Last week, King Soopers President Joe Kelley told CBS4 they increased wage benefits in their last and best offer.
“We increased the wages from $148 million to $170 million and that’s one addition to the health and welfare medical plan that we have on the table which is a solid plan and they also have a pension,” he said.
The company also shared the graphic below on Jan. 15 with the goal of being transparent:
UFCW Local 7 President Kim Cordova told CBS4, “They’ve only shown them [employees] a wage sheet. They’re not showing them the concessions where they have in their proposal that they could pull the wages backwards and so while they’re telling the company, our communities, the media, that they’re offering $170 million worth of wages, if their competitors offer less money than the contracts these workers vote on, would be reduced to a lower contract.”
James Bourcy has worked at the King Soopers off of Corona and 9th for eight years. He said he hasn’t made a livable wage since he’s been with the company.
“We can’t afford to support a family, we can’t afford to buy a car, we can’t afford to fix our teeth, while they are making record profits,” said Bourcy.
On Saturday, negotiations continued between company representatives and the union, but no deal was reached. A King Soopers spokesperson said in a statement, “the company hopes that they will come to the table ready to make progress and do what’s in the best interest of their members.”
In a statement, the president of King Soopers Joe Kelley said “the UFCW continues to distribute fear over facts that only creates uncertainty for everyone. our associates deserve to have their voices heard and the opportunity to vote on what’s best for them and their families- let them vote.”
Bourcy said he and his co-workers will continue to strike until their demands are met.
“This is corporate greed at its height,” said Bourcy. “And they need to start paying their employees fairly and justly.