LAKEWOOD, Colo. — The King Soopers strike has now ended after more than a week. The grocery store announced Friday morning that a tentative, three-year agreement has been reached with the union.
Customers on both sides of the issue are relieved the picket lines have come down and are hoping things go back to normal soon, but members of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 have another seven days before they are required to return to work.
King Soopers customers react
“I am relieved it’s over,” respiratory therapist Nicole Turnbaugh said. “Not only for me, but I’m wondering if other people had the same experience.” Turnbaugh said she was bullied while shopping.
“When I was walking out, they followed me to my car and tell me I spit on them and it’s a disgrace and that I didn’t support my community. That is no way to act. You know, if you have something to say go ahead, just be polite,” Turnbaugh said.
Some continued shopping for the familiarity. Others, like Ken Gurule, avoided shopping at a King Soopers store until he heard about a possible agreement.
“I even tentatively came [to King Soopers] today, because they don’t really have an agreement, they just have a tentative agreement,” Gurule said. “If they go on strike again, I won’t be shopping here, even if I have to spend more money. It doesn’t matter. You know, we need to stick together.”
“Big CEOs, CIOs and CFOs are making all this money and the little guy can’t even find a place to live and have a living wage. That’s ridiculous,” Gurule said.
Not everyone sided with the strike’s aims.
“I’m against the strike because it’s gonna drive the prices up. Food has already doubled. So I want to save as much money as I can as often as I can,” Jill Charles said.
Although the details of the offer have not been made public, King Soopers did say the “agreement allows us to put more money in our associates’ paychecks and secures healthcare and pension plans.”
“This fight will always be about the workers,” UFCW Local 7 President Kim Cordova said in a statement. “I could not be prouder of our members who put it all on the line to have their voices heard.“
King Soopers strike: Grocery employees take note
Employees at other grocery stores, like Sprouts, have been seeing double the amount of normal business because of the strike.
“Extremely busy! In fact, the people that are in line at the checkout are saying they were not going across the line and that’s why some of them [came to Sprouts]. Some of them had never even been to our store or hadn’t been very often,” Sprouts employee Laura Voltava said.
Voltava hopes Sprouts’ corporate office will take notice of King Soopers’ actions.
“I just think this is something that employers really need to think about seriously, because this was a serious action they took and they listened,” Voltava said.
The final details of the contract will not be made public until the union is able to ratify the agreement with all its members on Monday.