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The Rocky Mountain News reports that unionized employees at Safeway and Albertsons in the Denver area have decided not to vote on a contract proposal currently being drawn up by a federal mediator at the request of Kroger’s King Soopers.

The disagreement, according to the paper, was not over whether or not the members of the United Food and Commercial Works (UFCW) should vote on the proposal, but how they should vote – management wanted a mail-in vote, while the UFCW wanted a vote to take place at a membership meeting where the proposal’s terms would be discussed.

King Soopers originally asked the mediator to draw up the proposal as a way of breaking the logjam in negotiations; the original contract expired last November. Safeway and Albertsons made similar requests a day later.

The King Soopers employees have agreed to the mail ballot request.
KC's View:
The UFCW’s intent seems clear. It is a lot easier to generate heat in a roomful of angry people than it is with a cold, dispassionate mail-in ballot. And in most of these kinds of cases, heat is always preferred over light.

But you do have to wonder why the UFCW would agree to one thing with King Soopers and then reject it for the other two companies. Is it relationship with Kroger/King Soopers that much better?