Fight Back! interviews Carol McMillian, a bakery worker from Denver currently on strike against the unfair labor practices of King Soopers, a division of Kroger.
Fight Back!: Why are you out here today on the picket line?
Carol McMillian: The reason we are out on the picket line today is because of the company’s unfair labor practices. That is our dispute with King Soopers.
Fight Back!: Can you go into a little more detail about what those unfair labor practices are?
McMillian: The unfair labor practices that the company is participating in right now is, first of all they have attempted to hire [people at] temporary wages at $18 per hour when regular KS employees are hired at minimum wage. That’s a contract violation.
There’s a lot, it’s a whole lot. The company is negotiating in bad faith. They’re presenting one contract to the members but there’s more to the contract in negotiations. They’re not being transparent in their negotiations.
Fight Back!: What is different about this decision to strike compared to other contract renewals?
McMillian: What’s different between this contract renewals and others has to do with the economy right now, store conditions. There’s a lot of things involved in why it’s different right now. It’s a whole, totally different atmosphere.
Fight Back!: Can you speak to what that atmosphere is and what the relationship with corporate has been in the past year that has led to this decision to strike?
McMillian: We’ve been through two years, going into three years, of a global pandemic. Workers are overworked, underpaid, stressed out, sick, tired, very very tired, feeling neglected and disrespected by KS.
Fight Back!: What are you hoping to win out of this strike when it’s all said and done?
McMillian: At the end of the strike, we just would like the company to respect us, protect us, and pay us. Our goals are fair wages, affordable healthcare, and a safe working environment.