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Kroger Workers Strike at Almost 80 Stores

As discussions stalled, more than 8,000 workers at roughly 80 King Soopers stores went on strike for better pay on Wednesday, but the stores remained open as the Kroger Co-owned Colorado brand hired temporary workers and emphasised online purchasing. The strike began at 7:00 a.m. ET and would last three weeks, according to the UFCW Local 7 union. The striking workers work at King Soopers stores in the Denver metropolitan region, as well as Boulder, Parker, and Broomfield, Colorado.

The strike is the latest in the United States, following similar protests at Kellogg Co. cereal facilities and Deere & Co. as rising Omicron infections and inflation lead workers to seek better working conditions and more pay. Workers at King Soopers have demanded a minimum wage hike of $6 per hour for all employees. On Tuesday, the business issued a “last, best, and last offer” that included rises of up to $4.50 per hour depending on job classification and longevity.

The plan, which comes after the union rejected two prior offers, calls for a $170 million wage investment over the next three years, as well as increased healthcare coverage and a starting wage of $16 per hour. That was less than the $18 per hour advertised by King Soopers seeking replacement employees in Denver, Evergreen, Golden, and Littleton. Kroger said it has pulled in workers from across the country and employed temporary staff to mitigate the strike’s impact.

Customers were also encouraged to shop online by lowering delivery prices to $1 for orders over $35 for a limited time, as well as setting up alternate “offsite” pickup sites, such as a parking lot in Lakewood, Colorado.

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