It will be business as usual at Steamboat Springs, Craig City Market grocery stores | SteamboatToday.com

Steamboat Springs grocery stores will not be affected by potential strike

The Steamboat Springs and Craig City Market stores are “union free,” and will not be impacted if members of the union that represents grocery workers at more than 80 King Soopers and City Market stores  in other parts of the state vote to authorize a strike later this week. (Photo by John F. Russell)

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Workers at more than 80 City Market and King Soopers stores across Colorado will vote Thursday and Friday on whether to accept a contract offer from City Market and King Soopers or authorize a strike.

But, customers who get their groceries at the stores in Steamboat Springs and Craig can rest easy. Those stores are "union free" and will not be impacted, according to City Market spokesperson Adam Williamson.

"It's going to be business as usual, for sure, in your area," Williamson said Wednesday. "They are union free —  both Steamboat Springs and Craig."

But, he said that is not the case more than 80 of the 152 City Market and King Soopers stores in Colorado where workers are represented by UFCW Local 7. Union members who work for City Market and King Soopers, which are owned by Kroger Co., will vote to either accept the offer in front of them, or authorize a strike. A strike authorization doesn't mean that workers will walk of the job immediately, Williamson explained.

"Authorizing a strike is a difficult decision for any worker, " UFCW Local President Kim Cordova said in a news release. “… But, we are committed to making King Soopers and City Marker a better place to both work and shop. We remain hopeful that the company will come to the table with an offer that provides King Soopers and City Market workers with benefits they have earned and deserve."

The current contract ended on Jan. 12, and UFCW Local 7 and City Market and King Soopers have been engaged in bargaining for new contracts since December. The union, which represents more than 12,000 workers in Colorado, is unhappy with the company's latest proposals, which the union claims will make workers wait up to 10 years to get paid sick leave.

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Union leaders also say the new contract means no pay raises over the next three years for half of the employees, decreased benefits, increased cost for health care, fewer full-time jobs and fewer hours for part-time workers.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.

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