DENVER (KDVR) — Unionized King Soopers workers in Denver and Colorado Springs are set to vote on a strike, citing “unfair labor practices” that have led to a union lawsuit against the company.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 has been negotiating with King Soopers for months, with their current contract set to expire on Jan. 8.

In a news release announcing the strike vote, the union claims “egregious and unrelenting unfair labor practices,” saying King Soopers is circumventing the union to hire outside workers at a higher rate, prohibiting union activity, trying to bargain directly with workers instead of the union and imposing unfair wage changes.

The news came the day after King Soopers announced it offered the union a package that would bring wages for more than three-quarters of their store employees to more than $18 an hour, with half of them making more than $20 an hour.

The union claimed the company’s announcement omitted concessions employees would have to make in order to get the raises, like:

  • “increasing health care premiums and reducing benefits,
  • “requiring more hours to receive health care coverage,
  • “allowing the company to hire gig workers,
  • “limiting workers’ ability to earn overtime,
  • “providing an unsafe work environment,
  • “and lowering wages if you change classifications.”

The union has also filed a lawsuit against the company. The lawsuit claims King Soopers breached its current collective bargaining agreement “by using third-party staffing services to hire workers in its stores and using these workers to perform bargaining unit work” at higher wages than many existing employees.

King Soopers strike vote

  • Denver: Sunday, Jan. 2
  • Colorado Springs: Monday, Jan. 3