business news in context, analysis with attitude

There are numerous published reports saying that unionized employees of Safeway and King Soopers in Colorado Springs have rejected what have been called “final offers” from the two chains, following a similar decision by Denver-area workers for the two companies.

The unionized workers also have authorized a strike against Safeway and King Soopers.

According to a story in The Coloradoan, Safeway has said that the final offer was tendered “after five months of negotiating, which included 17 bargaining sessions. The final contract presented by Safeway includes pay raises, shorter dependent wait times for health-care coverage, access to a new first-class health-care program and a shared responsibility funding approach toward pension benefits.” The King Soopers contract offer reportedly “increases wages, improves health care with no cost to the employee and includes nearly $40 million to help stabilize a pension plan with early retirement at 55 years old. Previously, early retirement was 50 years old … The contract includes average wage increases of $8,000 over the next five years, depending on how many hours an employee has worked.”

The chains have said that they are taking applications from temporary workers, who could be used in the event of a strike or a lock-out.
KC's View:
I simply cannot believe that during a recession and a time of high and growing unemployment, the union will go on strike and that the two sides won’t come to some sort of accord.