King Soopers union approves new contract with Kroger
Workers from nearly 80 King Soopers approved a three-year contract with the chain’s owner, Kroger, on Tuesday, after workers had previously gone on strike due to dissatisfaction with what Kroger called its best and last offer at the time.
The new contract will have King Soopers invest $170 million into wage increases along with additional investments into health care, Reuters reported.
A document obtained by the news wire found that the agreement would have per-hour raises range between $1.23 and $5.99 in the first year. With the new agreement, more than 95 percent of workers will receive an hourly raise of at least $2 in the first year.
Earlier this month, thousands of King Soopers workers went on strike after rejecting a contract that Kroger had said would be its last offer. King Soopers President Joe Kelley said at the time that the company had offered raised its initial offer of $148 million to $170 million when the offer was rejected.
United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 7, the union that represents the workers, took issue with conditions in the contract that it said would have allowed Kroger to reduce wages over the lifetime of the agreement.
Around 8,000 workers from 77 King Soopers and City Market locations are affected by the collective bargaining agreement.
While the union did not get the $6 raise in the first year that it had sought, UFCW Local 7 President Kim Cordova said the union had “fixed a lot of things that needed to be fixed.”
One worker who asked to remain anonymous expressed disappointment, telling Reuters, “The raise was definitely disappointing. My biggest gripe about the contract, though, is honestly the lack of decent wages for entry-level employees.”
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