DENVER (KDVR) — King Soopers workers are expected to strike on Wednesday and as the day approaches, things continue to heat up. The grocer filed a lawsuit on Monday accusing the union of not coming to the negotiation table.
The union and King Soopers are still butting heads on contract negotiations, which include wages, health care, safety and more. But as of Monday night, no contract deal has been reached. The strike is said to be the largest labor dispute the grocer has seen in 25 years.
King Soopers filed a lawsuit against the union citing “unfair labor practice.” The suit says union president, Kim Cordova, refuses to come to the table and is set on causing disruption with a strike.
Joe Kelley, president of King Soopers, claims Cordova rejected mediation services offered, denied in-person invitations, and did not answer calls or emails.
“We haven’t seen them since last Thursday,” Kelley said. “We’ve been giving them days all the way through this weekend and this week.”
However, Cordova addressed the media on Monday, explaining her stance.
“Our workers were only worth nine minutes to the Colorado division president,” Cordova said. “I invited him personally to negotiations and he showed up for one day for a whole nine minutes. He stayed, he came in, he waved, he shook some hands, and then he left. He did not stay at the bargaining table to listen to the workers’ proposals.”
She went on to say that enough is enough and a strike is necessary to be heard, while King Soopers is adamant on coming back to the table. The company put a $148 million wage offer on the table that was rejected by the union.
Cordova says King Soopers isn’t being honest with its workers and Kelley says the union is negotiating with the media and not them.
“I think a resolution will come if she gets back in the meeting with us,” Kelley said.
Kelley said King Soopers is still moving full steam ahead with their contingency plan of flying in and hiring temporary workers. The strike is expected to start at 5 a.m. on Wednesday in several stores in the Denver metro area.