By Tori Mason

DENVER (CBS4) – King Soopers has been granted a temporary restraining order against striking employees. A judge granted the request Tuesday evening after the company alleged several incidents of harassing behavior toward customers.

The workers’ union says the allegations are unfounded.

(credit: CBS)

In a statement to CBS4, King Soopers wrote:

“To be extremely clear – we support our associates’ right to picket, we also respect our associates’ right to cross the picket line and work and our customers’ right to cross the line to shop. Unfortunately, at several locations picketers are engaging in unlawful activity including threatening, blocking and intimidating both associates and customers who have chosen to cross the picket line. Additionally, there have been instances where picketers are blocking trucks from delivering to our stores. These activities are not peaceful and frankly are unsafe. The safety of our associates, customers, and communities will ALWAYS come first and this temporary restraining order is a reflection of that commitment.”

The request also alleges multiple incidents of picketers falsely telling customers that the stores are closed, preventing cars from entering the parking lots, and noise complaints from neighbors.

King Soopers went on to say: “It is truly disappointing that the union would endorse these unlawful behaviors.”

Kim Cordova, president of UFCW Local 7, says the allegations are unfounded and the company never once mentioned problems with picketers during negotiations.

“I was really taken aback. We’ve been in negotiations with King Soopers for the last five days, in the room with their negotiators, with all of their head of corporate and they never once raised any of these issues,” said Cordova. “This is just their attempt to silence their workers.”

Cordova believes Kroger is becoming frustrated with empty stores and what she believes is overwhelming public support.

(credit: CBS)

The restraining order limits the number of picketers that can gather to 10.

Picketers can not block or stand in front of entrances, or stand in front of vehicles entering or leaving King Soopers, including delivery vehicles.

“With the amount of money they’re spending on advertising and legal fees, they could have just come to the table and done the right thing by these workers,” said Cordova.

She says the union plans to appeal the temporary order.

Tori Mason