DENVER (KDVR) — King Soopers union employees have been on strike all day Wednesday, demanding fair treatment, more money, health care benefits, and more. Day one of the strike remained calm, however, FOX31 was alerted of a few instances where shoppers were heckled by workers for crossing the picket line.
Loud chants and car horns were heard at and near King Soopers in the Denver metro, some union workers standing outside for eight hours making their voices heard. Union President Kim Cordova was outside with members bright and early at 5 a.m.
“The workers are mad and they feel betrayed by their company,” Cordova said.
“They can hire people for $18, but they won’t pay us $18,” a union member picketing outside told FOX31. Another member said, “I work hard, I come in early, stay late, work as much as I can for these people, but I just feel like I’m being walked all over.”
The first day of the strike appeared to impact business, deterring some shoppers from going to King Soopers. The grocer parking lot on Krameria Street was practically empty, while the Safeway parking lot directly across the street was busy and packed.
A King Soopers shopper was loading groceries into his car and shared with FOX31 that he was shopping for a friend who was too afraid to go inside the store.
Although thousands are expected to strike, some union workers are taking their own stance, choosing not to strike. One of those members is Robert Tabacchi.
“I completely disagree with the strike. Stop this please,” Tabacchi exclaimed.
Tabacchi has been a union member for 12 years at the grocery store and on Wednesday decided to cross the picket line to clock in. He is not participating in the strike because he says he does not agree with the union’s approach, sending a message to Cordova.
“You’re not going to achieve what you want. You’re misleading them. You keep saying it’s about wages when it clearly isn’t,” Tabacchi said.
He said that he does agree that King Soopers can do better, but that can only happen if the union comes to the table and negotiates, instead of stonewalling. Tabacchi said he’s unclear with what Cordova’s agenda is, but believes she is misleading members and applying pressure.
As of Wednesday night, a contract deal has not been reached between King Soopers and the union, which means the strike will continue. If no deal is reached, the strike could last until February.