WESTMINSTER, Colo. – As negotiations continue between United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 7 and King Soopers corporate leaders, thousands of union grocery workers are preparing to strike.
On Tuesday morning, union workers have voted to authorize a strike in the Denver and Boulder areas.
“They've committed a lot of unfair labor practices,” UFCW Local 7 member Kenneth Sanchez said.
Sanchez has been a King Soopers employee for ten years and said union members are demanding better pay, affordable health care, and a safer work environment.
“In my ten years, I've seen a downhill slide,” Sanchez said. “They haven’t been bargaining in good faith.”
But King Soopers claims it’s the union that’s not negotiating in good faith.
In a statement to Denver7, a King Soopers spokesperson said in part, “The company is in the process of filing unfair labor practice charges against the union president and Local 7 for its bad faith bargaining.”
UFCW Local 7 member Carol McMillan said it’s time for King Soopers to take union members seriously.
“I’d like to see more transparency and more integrity from King Soopers,” McMillan said.
McMillan, who’s been with the company for seven years, said the union’s demands boil down to simple, good company practices.
“We just want King Soopers to respect us, protect us, and pay us. We deserve nothing less,” McMillan said.
McMillian and Sanchez said they hope the community supports what may come next, even it means waiting longer for groceries.
If workers move forward with a strike it would begin Sunday, Jan. 9 after the current employee agreement expires.