Kroger-owned King Soopers and its union workers have apparently reached a deal, as workers ended their strike on Jan. 21.
UPDATED: Article reflects latest developments. Following a protracted stalemate, King Soopers employees who are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 7 officially voted to end the strike they began on Jan. 12.
Union members ratified the deal on Monday, Jan. 24. According to representatives, the contract includes a record pay increase and the addition of more stringent safety measures in stores.
In a statement, UFCW Local 7 president Kim Cordova said, “Getting here has been arduous. Full credit goes to the bargaining committee and workers who made their voices heard.”
The agreement comes following a protracted and heated labor dispute. During the strike, a judge granted Kroger-owned King Soopers a temporary restraining order limiting picket lines and banning striking employees from blocking store entrances and shouting near customers and store employees at work. Before the walk-off, UFCW Local 7 rejected King Soopers’ last, best and final offer of a $170 million investment in wages over the next few years plus additional healthcare benefits and ratification bonuses.
During the back-and-forth, parent company The Kroger Co. released an analysis showing that the organization’s compensation of hourly associates in Western states including Colorado averages $23.89 per hour, counting wages and healthcare and retirement benefits. The report noted that this compensation is higher than the average hourly wages and benefits of all workers in the U.S. retail industry and is comparable to job functions of the majority of Kroger associates.
Cincinnati-based Kroger employs nearly half a million associates who serve 9 million-plus customers daily through a seamless digital shopping experience and 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names. The company is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.