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Colo. Grocery Workers: No Mail Vote for Contract Settlement

DENVER -- Colorado Safeway and Albertsons workers have decided against voting on a proposed settlement to an often-tense contract wrangle that's been going on since August.

Late last week, according to the UFCW, workers on the Safeway and Albertsons bargaining team rejected a corporate requirement that workers vote by mail on a trial settlement drafted by a federal mediator. The union accused the grocers of attempting to keep workers from finding out important details about the proposed settlement by preventing a membership meeting where the settlement would be fully discussed, and bristled at the idea of being told how it should run its elections. No further Safeway or Albertsons talks are currently planned.

In local press reports, Safeway spokesman Pete Webb said the companies wanted the mail-in ballot because it permits a great number of employees to participate in the vote, which can be carried out "in a thoughtful and confidential manner."

Eight thousand, eight hundred workers for Kroger's King Soopers and City Market banners have already agreed to vote on the contract proposal by mail.

More than 17,500 Colorado grocery store workers are represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 of Wheat Ridge, Colo.
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