DENVER – King Soopers and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 officials met at the bargaining table Friday as union workers continue to strike, but the talks have so far been unproductive, according to both sides of the discussions. Talks resumed Saturday.
UFCW Local 7 President Kim Cordova said in a video message Friday afternoon that the sides had indeed met at a Denver hotel at 11 a.m. Friday to discuss whether an agreement could be reached.
MAP: These are the King Soopers stores that could be affected by the worker's strike beginning Wednesday
But she said the talks had thus far been “very unproductive” and that there was “no progress” made. Cordova said King Soopers Division President Joe Kelley had indeed come to the table Friday, but she claimed he and other company officials and lawyers had “show resistance to listening to our proposal.”
She also said Kelley had said there was no more money on the table during Friday’s negotiations. Workers and the union are asking for better wages, health care options, bonuses and more on-the-job safety, and the union is claiming unfair labor practices. The strike began at 5 a.m. Wednesday.
The company said Tuesday the final offer, which was rejected by the union, included increasing the starting pay to $16 an hour and ratification bonuses of $2,000 for employees with less than 10 years of service, and $4,000 for workers with 10 or more years of experience, among other things.
However, Cordova claimed the current offer from King Soopers omitted those bonuses.
In a news release issued before Cordova’s message, Kelley claimed “the unions’ recent antics continue to stand in the way of our associates getting the wage increases they deserve.”
“Our associates have lost their voice and instead have been manipulated into striking over an alleged unfair labor practice charge. Their wage increases are being delayed and they have been denied their democratic right to vote on the real issue at hand – their contract; and now they find themselves on the picket line,” Kelley said in a statement.
Cordova said the strike would continue after Friday’s discussions. If the two sides do not come to an agreement, the strike could run until Feb. 2, the union has said.
Later in the evening, Cordova said the negotiations had ended for the day and would resume Saturday.