COLORADO SPRINGS — King Soopers filed their own complaint against UFCW Local 7 to the National Labor Relations Board Monday, accusing the union of engaging in "bad faith/surface bargaining."
This comes after UFCW Local 7 fired a number of complaints to the National Labor Relations Board in November and December, which you can read more about here.
The charge was filed two days before workers began their strike in Denver, which commenced Wednesday morning.
The complaint contains a number of accusations, and they are all related to the union's alleged actions during the contract negotiations between the union and the company. Almost all of the charges laid out in the complaint are disputed by the union.
The first accusation claims the union refused to "engage in any meaningful discussions" about the negotiation of the collective bargaining agreement. It says the union rejected the offer "without review or discussion," and that no counteroffer or discussion regarding the companies proposals occurred.
The union says this is "inaccurate," and that the union found the offer "unacceptable to the bargaining committees" after review. The union further says that they did present a counteroffer that was set to expire on midnight of January 7, and even extended the expiration of the offer to 4:59 AM on January 12, which is when the strike started.
Two of the accusations relate to scheduling meetings for negotiations and discussions between the company and the union. King Soopers claims that the union has refused to "meet and negotiate at reasonable times and places" since October 2021, and that they have "refused to meet and negotiate since early January 6," despite "numerous requests" from the company.
The union says the "responsibility for the current state of negotiations resides with Kroger," which is the parent company of King Soopers, as they "have continued to present proposals... that are concessionary in nature." The union also says that they have not refused to meet with Kroger or King Soopers, and that it took 3 months for the company to provide information that the union says is "critical to resuming negotiations."
Another accusation made by the company is that the union "insisted on unreasonable contract proposals" that would be "unacceptable" to King Soopers to "delay and frustrate bargaining." They claim that the offer submitted on January 6 was intended to "further frustrate bargaining and delay negotiations until the contract expire(d) and striking could commence."
The union, however, is making similar claims about the recent proposals submitted by King Soopers. They view the most recent offers made by the company as "unacceptable," as they contain "poison pills that the membership does not support."
The company further claims in the complaint that the union is "bargaining for units not included in these present negotiations and over illegal subjects."
The union says this claim is "without merit," as "several additional groups of workers have voted to join units" that are part of the current agreements, and that these "workers have every right" to have their voices heard in these negotiations.
The final part of the complaint relates to King Soopers request to bring in a federal mediator to settle the dispute. Kim Cordova in a press conference Monday said that the union was not accepting this request.
Workers in the Denver area are now on strike, but a date for a strike in Colorado Springs has yet to be released.