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The King Soopers strike is finally, officially over

Hey Denver, it’s Paul. Can you believe this King Soopers strike started only two weeks ago?

After more than 8,000 grocery store workers with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 spent 9 days on the picket lines, they voted Monday to approve a new contract. The vote ends months of negotiations between the UFCW7 and King Soopers’ parent company Kroger, and officially ends the strike.

According to the Denver Post, the new contract will cover three years and include pay raises – most employees will see a $2/hour bump while some wages will increase by more than $5/hour. The company also agreed to contribute more to employees’ healthcare needs, increase protections for their pensions, and beef up security and safety measures in stores.

I checked in with Andres Becerril, the strike captain/King’s employee/stand-up comic who I spoke with on the podcast a couple weeks ago, and he told me he thinks it’s a good deal that “proved the power of a union/strike.”

“I think this has made members more involved in Local 7 and I wouldn’t be surprised if people become more invested in being union members,” Andres added. “I think when we come to the bargaining table again in three years, the turnout will be even greater than before.”

The company seems satisfied with this outcome too. “Our goal since day one has been to put more money in our associates’ paychecks,” King Soopers/City Market president Joe Kelley told the Denver Post. “And we are thrilled that our associates in the Denver-metro bargaining area have voted yes on this offer.”

For more on the King Soopers strike, check out our past coverage:

January 10: Why Are King Soopers Workers Going on Strike?
Two days before the strike began, host Bree Davies interviewed UFCW7 president Kim Cordova about how the contract talks fell apart and what the workers were asking for. (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)

January 14: Scenes from the King Soopers Picket Line
Bree and I visit our local King’s to talk to workers, shoppers, and one assistant manager. This is the one with Andres Becerril. (Apple Podcasts, Spotify)

January 24: The Picket Lines Are Down. But The King Soopers Labor Dispute Isn’t Over.
After the UFCW7 announced that they had reached a compromise with the company, I spoke with my friend Miguel Jimenez, a 22-year King’s vet who went through several strikes and contract negotiations, to hear about how grocery jobs used to be and get some insight ahead of this past Monday’s vote. (Apple, Spotify)

— Paul Karolyi, City Cast Denver producer

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