Let’s Talk About the Facts

For the Record

January 9th, 2022

King Soopers/City Market knows that you are getting a lot of information thrown at you and it’s hard to determine what is the truth and what is not. We know there is a lot of uncertainty for you right now. We want you to know that we will continue to listen to your feedback and try to reach a peaceful settlement with UFCW Local 7. 

Unfortunately, your union president is determined to take her membership down a path that we cannot control. We have been open and transparent throughout the negotiations process and you can review our Comprehensive Best Offer to Settle for Clerks and Meat. We believe the union is sharing false and misleading information. Here are the facts.

Voting

FACT: We learned that Local 7 is telling you that our Comprehensive Best Offer to Settle is no longer on the table. That is not true! They have taken the decision out of your hands and haven’t even given you the opportunity to vote on our offer. It is very much on the table and if you like our offer and want to vote on it – contact your union representative or your union president Kim Cordova at 303-425-0897 and tell them. We also have contact information available for the National Labor Relations Board and media outlets  here if you feel your union is not listening to you and you want them to allow you to vote on our offer or get back to bargaining.

Strike

FACT: Our Comprehensive Best Offer to Settle remains on the table, it is not concessionary, and the union is choosing NOT to allow you to vote on our offer. The union has stated that they intend to take you out on strike for alleged unfair labor practices. We have followed the law and the National Labor Relations Board has not issued a complaint. We have heard from associates that they don’t even know what the union is calling a strike for. They have taken the decision out of your hands and haven’t even given you the opportunity to vote on our offer.

FACT: The union has signed an extension with Safeway/Albertsons. Safeway/Albertsons basically has the same current contract language as King Soopers/City Market including wages, health care and pension benefits. Why is Local 7 offering an extension and certainty for Safeway/Albertsons workers but is not giving King Soopers/City Market associates the same consideration? Instead, your union wants to take YOU out on strike.

FACT: We have repeatedly sent multiple communications to UFCW Local president Kim Cordova asking her to return to the bargaining table immediately so we can work to reach an agreement. Our negotiating team has remained available at all times and is ready and willing to meet with your union at any time to reach a peaceful agreement – to keep you working. We also requested that both parties engage a federal mediator to help bring a peaceful resolution. As of today, Local 7 hasn’t provided any bargaining dates nor have they agreed to a Federal Mediator. You can see all of our correspondence with Local 7 and Cordova’s response to our correspondence.

Wages

FACT: Our offer is a significant investment in ALL associates. It includes $148 million investment in NEW wages over the next three years – the largest in King Soopers/City Market history! This means top rate associates would receive $2.60 through the life of the contract (and certain top-rated associates would receive even more as our proposal includes moving all classifications except courtesy clerk, Rx techs, and meat cutters to the APC rates) and associates in progressions would receive up to $4.50 per hour in the first year of the contract and additional increases through the life of the contract. King Soopers/City Market average hourly rate is $18.29 per hour – that doesn’t include your affordable, low-cost health care benefits and pension benefits.

FACT: First time ratification bonuses of $4,000 for ten or more years of service and $2,000 for less than ten years will be paid by check.

FACT: The company is not proposing to lower your wages. As we had communicated previously, we had approached the union about raising wage rates prior to the expiration of the contract in response to local market conditions. The union refused. We believe this hindered our ability to staff some of our stores and placed additional burdens on you. Our proposal is meant to prevent this circumstance from happening again and to ensure the company can pay wages in excess of the contract if needed.

FACT: In our Comprehensive Best Offer to Settle, Courtesy Clerks would earn regular increases as would every associate. Our offer puts more money in ALL associates’ pockets.

Benefits

FACT: We are adding more to our health care investment – $16 million over the next three years. That’s an additional $3 million more than our original offer – and it’s all based on both the union and company’s consultant projections. During every contract cycle, future health care costs are always based on projections. You have not had any increases to your associate premiums in more than a decade! Remember: The company and you contribute to your health care benefits; the union doesn’t contribute one dime.  

FACT: The company is maintaining our current pension contributions. The Rocky Mountain Pension Fund is doing very well and is considered to be in “green zone status” when it comes to financial stability. This means that your pension fund is stable. Remember: The company fully funds your pension benefits; the union doesn’t contribute one dime!

FACT: Our sick leave proposal is based on the Colorado Paid Sick Leave law and exceeds most of the provisions outlined in the law. As you know, King Soopers/City Market – in agreement with the union – implemented temporary sick time policies that were more generous than what the contract required in order to address the pandemic. We want to continue to provide associates the ability to use the time when and if they need it. We have a special handout that compares our sick pay proposal to what you currently have.

Language

FACT: King Soopers/City Market takes safety very seriously and it is a top priority. Unfortunately, violent incidents and other emergency events are unpredictable, very situational, and can happen at any time and anywhere. We shared with Local 7 that we continually and substantially invest in training and in various other safety measures. King Soopers/City Market has increased our spending on security every year since 2018 – more than 300%. However, as we have shared previously, studies have shown that having an armed security guard doesn’t make you safer. Our safety proposal addresses safety and emergency issues that may arise in the workplace, which included language around policies, processes and working conditions; associate leave; and the engagement of store-level safety committees and a Master Safety Committee.

FACT: Our Comprehensive Best Offer to Settle does not include language to eliminate daily overtime, 6th and 7th day overtime and split shifts, etc. This is part of the bargaining process – all of these were withdrawn in an effort to reach an agreement with your union. You can view our offer on this website and see for yourself.  

FACT: The company has proposed to be able to hire associates that want to work less than 20 hours a week. Think about retirees, stay-at-home parents, kids in high school or college that only want to work a limited number of hours. These aren’t your traditional “gig” workers that your union wants you to believe are going to take your hours. We are simply trying to make our workplace more accommodating for associates who may want this kind of schedule flexibility. Select a schedule and seniority would still apply, and less than 20 hours a week would have to be mutually agreeable to an associate and the company. This is a win for everyone.

As always, we will keep you updated as negotiations progress by sharing updates through your store leader, on FEED and posted to store bulletin boards and here on this website.