Thousands of Workers at Kroger-Owned Grocery Stores in Colorado Are on Strike

King Soopers and City Market workers in Colorado went on strike Wednesday to protest the insufficient offer by union members on wages and working conditions.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 rejected a contractKroger, which controls the two grocery chains, called off the strike on Tuesday. The strike is expected to last for three weeks. According to the union about 8,000 workersThese striking employees are employed in 87 stores.

“Our plea remains the same: Stop these unfair labor practices, and respect us, protect us and pay us what we deserve,” said Kim Cordova, president of the union local, in a statementMonday. “UFCW Local 7 members will remain on strike until the company agrees to cease its unfair labor practices and comes to the negotiating table in good faith.”

Kroger claimed that the latest offer was the “last, best and final” one. The union claims that the new offer contains provisions that are unacceptable for members and does not address the issues workers have raised about the pandemic.

The company hasn’t addressed concerns over wages, benefits reductions and worker safety during contract negotiations, the union says, and it “continues to demonstrate a lack of appreciation for workers who put their lives at risk in the midst of a global pandemic.” While the company offered employees extra hazard pay early in the pandemic, it took the $2 an hour “hero” pay away after just weeksIn May 2020.

Kroger claims that the new offer raises starting pay to $16 per hour. However, Cordova pointed out the fact that this rate is only slightly higher than the minimum wage in Denver which is home to many King Soopers stores. The company is also looking to hire replacement workers or scabs for a higher rate.

“That’s 13 cents over minimum wage, while they’re posting for replacement scab workers at $18 an hour,” Cordova told HuffPost’s Dave Jamieson. Last month, the union filed a lawsuitThe company alleged that it had violated an agreement not to hire replacement workers. The company responded by reorganizing its workforce. has filed a lawsuit against the union, claiming that the union isn’t bargaining in good faith.

The company’s offer also includes provisionsHire gig workers, reduce overtime, and reduce the time for a leave or injury. These proposals have been rejected by union members.

Cordova stated that workers suffered during the pandemic. Kroger was making record profits, but they were still struggling. “The companies were thriving, but our workers didn’t thrive,” she said.

Find out what our workers have accomplished. COVID. Attacked.Get beat up. Keep going. Slapped. Overworked. The company? They did great. They did a great job, sitting at their desk and doing their work by Zoom.

Kroger, the nation’s largest grocer, has faced widespread scrutiny over poor labor practices through the pandemic. While median worker pay droppedKroger CEO Rodney McMullen received a $6.4 million raise in the first year after the pandemic. This brought his total compensation to $20.6 million for 2020. Median worker wages decreased by 8.1%, from around $26,000 to $24,000 annually.

The company boasted of raising the average worker’s pay to $16, but it closed stores in Seattle, California. Local governance required that frontline workers be paid bonus pandemic wages. In 2020, the company posted record profits has similarly posted an increase in profits from pre-pandemic levels in 2021. The company is valuedOver $34 billion and nearly a billion dollars in profit in the third quarter 2021 alone.