Denver, CO – On January 3, King Soopers workers represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 (UFCW) in Denver and Colorado Springs approved an Unfair Labor Practices strike by a 97% margin. On January 7, the union announced that workers would walk off the job and onto the picket line starting next Wednesday, January 12.
The announcement follows weeks of bargaining between the union and King Soopers, in which the company “tried to prevent the workers from standing together with each other in the stores, refused to produce information critical to these negotiations, and failed to bargain in good faith with the union” according to UFCW Local 7 President Kim Cordova.
Like many workers, King Soopers employees have struggled to support themselves amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic while the company posted record profits.
The strike will involve approximately 8400 workers at 78 stores and will mark the first time Colorado grocery workers have gone on strike since 1996.
A strike at a major grocery chain like King Soopers is a sign of the increased militancy workers have displayed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Within the last six months, there were major nationwide strikes at Nabisco, John Deere, and Kellogg’s, as well as a narrowly-avoided strike by the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). Then in November, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters elected new militant leadership in the form of the Teamsters United Slate led by Sean O’Brien and Fred Zuckerman. All over the country, workers are fed up and they’re fighting back.