Workers at some 80 Krogers King Sobers went on strike when talks stalled

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

by in Published on January 12, 2022

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Workers at some 80 Krogers King Sobers went on strike when talks stalled

More than 8,000 workers at nearly 80 King Soopers stores went on strike Wednesday to demand better wages and benefits after the latest round of negotiations between the Kroger-owned Colorado chain and the union failed. The walkout began at 7 am. ET and will last three weeks, UFCW Local 7. Strikers work at King Soopers stores in the Denver metro area and in the Colorado cities of Boulder, Parker and Broomfield, among others.

Kroger said King Soopers will remain open because it drew workers from across the country and hired temporary staff to replace the strikers. It is the latest in a series of strikes in the U.S., following similar events at Kellogg Co. and Deere & Co. grain mills, as rising variable COVID-19 cases from Omicron and inflation are pushing workers toward the need for higher wages and better working conditions. At King Soopers, workers asked everyone to increase their wages by at least $6 per hour. However, the company's "newer, better, and latest" bids offer increases of up to $4.50 per hour depending on job classification and seniority.

The company's final offer, submitted Tuesday, said it would invest $170 million in wages and bonuses over the next three years. It will offer a starting wage of $16 an hour and invest more in health benefits. It comes after the union rejected two previous wage offers, the latest for $148 million, made last week.

Kim Cordova, president of UFCW Local 7, said Tuesday's show was in many ways worse than previous shows. She said the offer "still fell short" and maintained many of the concessions made previously and added new concession items. Kroger did not disclose sales for King Soopers, which operates more than 110 stores in Colorado and is the state's No. 1 grocery chain by market share. But investment research firm CFRA says King Soopers/City Market stores in Colorado account for about 5% of Kroger's annual revenue. Kroger posted sales of $132.5 billion in the year ended Jan. 30.

Arun Sundaram, an analyst with CFRA Research in the Colorado area said, "Depending on the length of the strike, there could be lasting effects on market share, with Walmart and Albertson's being Kroger's main competitors." Several customers took to social media Wednesday to express their support for the union and also said they would boycott Kroger during the strike.


William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®
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