By Rick Sallinger

UPDATE: King Soopers Reaches Tentative Agreement With Union To End Strike

DENVER (CBS4) – King Soopers employees who are striking are getting paid by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7. Zach Willbanks is a strike captain at a Lakewood King Soopers store.

“In fact, right now I am making more money to be out here on the line than in the store by about $300.”

(credit: CBS)

For each eight hour day of picket duty, the UFCW gives them $160. There’s an $800 per week maximum.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger asked one striker, “So if you are making more money, what’s the incentive to go back to work?”

The man replied, “We are hoping to get a better contract to make what we are making out here in there. We deserve it.”

The money for the strikers comes from their dues, the international union headquarters. there are also donations according to a representative from the UFCW International office.

The union has a hardship donation page on the Local 7 website. It helps those who may need more.

(credit: CBS)

“I work two jobs. I am a single parent, and it breaks my heart to see everybody here having to strike,” said picketer Michele Kissinger.

The $160 per day to strikers is the top level. There are lower amounts for other categories of part time or workers on leave.

CBS4 asked Kissinger, “If it wasn’t for the strike fund, how tough would it be?”

She replied, “Really tough, I’d be out there doing some ‘Door Dashing.'”

That, of course, takes gas, and by the way, picket lines are also up at a nearby King Soopers gas station.

On Tuesday, King Soopers filed a temporary restraining order against UFCW Local 7 which seeks to limit the number of picketers and where they can picket. The company claims the picketers are interfering with business operations.

King Soopers says a court ruled the union’s actions were “unlawful and unsafe.” A written temporary restraining order will be issued.

Rick Sallinger