By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– Members of the UFCW Local 7, the union representing King Soopers workers, voted to ratify a contract that would end the strike Monday night. Employees returned to the store on Friday amid the announcement that an agreement had been reached.

(credit: CBS)

The 3-year agreement would settle the recent dispute. The 8,000 union members began voting on Monday.

“The agreement contains the most significant wage increase ever secured by a UFCW local for grocery workers and includes first-year wage increases for long standing employees. Some workers will receive wage increases in excess of $5.00 per hour. The Union also successfully negotiated better healthcare and protected pension benefits for its members, along with more stringent safety measures in the workplace to protect employees and customers. This agreement also creates new paths to full-time employment opportunities for King Soopers and City Market workers,” the union stated in a news release on Monday night.

The agreement comes with a $2/hour raise among other benefits.

“Our goal since day one has been to put more money in our associates’ paychecks and we are thrilled that our associates in the Denver metro bargaining area have voted yes on this offer,” said Joe Kelley, president of King Soopers and City Market, in a statement on Monday night.

(credit: CBS)

The agreement came two weeks after the contracts began expiring throughout Colorado, and over 8,000 workers at 78 stores went on strike in the Denver metro area to protest what was deemed unfair labor practices by King Soopers during the past few months of negotiation.

“Getting here has been arduous. Full credit goes to the bargaining committee and workers who made their voices heard through negotiating, standing united at the picket line, or sharing their stories with the media. This fight was always about them, and now they have a contract they deserve and can be proud of,” said UFCW Local 7 President Kim Cordova.

Union members in Colorado Springs, Pueblo and Grand Junction are scheduled to vote on their contracts over the next week.

Jennifer McRae