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UPDATE: King Soopers and union reach tentative deal

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Workers picketing outside the King Soopers at Belleview and Kipling in Littleton on Jan. 12. It was one of 77 King Soopers stores that are impacted by a strike. 

Update on Jan. 21

DENVER — King Soopers and City Market have reached a tentative agreement with United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 7  after nine days of a strike at 77 stores in the Denver metro area. The president of King Soopers and City Market, Joe Kelley, wrote in a statement, "We are pleased that this agreement allows us to put more money in our associates' paychecks and secures healthcare and pension plans. We look forward to welcoming back our associates and customers."

UFCW Local 7 will now share the details of the agreement with its members and initiate a vote. The union posted on social media early Friday morning calling for its members to pull down the pickets. It also noted that members have seven days to return to work and will be given full credit for Friday and Saturday as though they picketed for eight hours. Vote meetings are being scheduled.

Original story below

DENVER — Thousands of unionized grocery workers in Colorado walked off the job Wednesday, Jan. 12 for a three-week strike against King Soopers. 77 stores in the Denver metro area are impacted. 

[You can find a list of impacted stores here]

First day of three-week King Soopers strike

This comes after King Soopers said it sent its "last best and final offer." In a letter posted on its website on Jan. 12 King Soopers said in part, "The company has tried everything to reach an agreement and avoid a strike. Local 7 left the bargaining table early in the morning last Thursday and never returned."

On Tuesday, Jan. 11 the president of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 7, Kim Cordova, said in a video statement, "They don't get to call it a last and best final offer. They have to properly present it to the union so we can ask questions and vet through the proposal so both sides know the intentions of their proposal are."

Cordova was out on the picket lines early Wednesday morning.

The union that represents about 17,000 grocery workers from Kroger/King Soopers in Colorado and Wyoming called for a strike Jan. 7 after union members at 87 King Soopers locations in Denver and Colorado Springs voted to authorize one.

“This is a direct result of the company’s bad faith at the bargaining table,” Cordova said in a previous statement.

King Soopers responded over the Jan. 8 weekend saying it sent a letter to Cordova asking to set up times to continue to bargain immediately and asked the union to agree to a federal mediator to help with these negotiations. 

You can read the copy of the letter sent to Cordova here

UFCW7 held a press conference Monday afternoon, Jan. 10 where workers shared their stories and pleas to King Soopers for higher wages and better benefits. Cordova also said they are planning to fly in other members of the union from out of state to help picket. She also said they do not want to negotiate with a federal mediator. 

According to UCFW Local 7, after 17 hours of negotiations with King Soopers/City Market on Jan. 4 and 5, it presented the company with an offer. UFCW Local 7 said it gave the company until midnight on Friday to accept, but the company presented its own agreement. 

“After repeated attempts to bring about an end to King Soopers’ unfair labor practices, which have sought to prevent grocery workers from securing an industry-leading contract, King Soopers has left us with no choice but to call for an unfair labor practice strike," saidCordova in a press release sent to Rocky Mountain PBS. "Grocery workers ensure that our communities have access to food, but they cannot even afford to feed their own families. King Soopers has chosen to protect its bottom line, instead of protecting workers who have risked their lives every day since the start of this pandemic just by showing up to work." 

UFCW Local 7 said the bargaining committee presented a proposal which would result in an industry-leading three-year contract for King Soopers and City Market workers. Some highlights include: 

  • Wage increases of at least $6 per hour for the first year of the agreement for all classifications
  • $1.50 wage increases in years 2 and 3 of the agreement.
  • A new health plan.
  • Pension improvements for retirees and current workers.
  • Double time for all holidays worked for all workers.
  • A safety proposal, including armed security/off-duty law enforcement at all stores.
  • A four-step wage progression – ensuring workers reach journeyman wages faster.


You can read more of the details here. The contracts ended the weekend of Jan. 8, although, not all contracts ended at the same time. According to The Colorado Sun, about 8,400 Colorado workers will be impacted by the strike.

Representatives for the grocery chain, the largest in Colorado and the U.S., went on to say the company hoped the union wouldn't call for a strike but added, "we will remain open so customers can have access to fresh food."

Amanda Horvath is a multimedia producer with Rocky Mountain PBS. You can email her at

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