Store workers looking over City Market’s contract offer

City Market employees are looking over the details of the company’s final contract offer, which was delivered to them Wednesday.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 7 offered no immediate response to the offer and said no action was planned immediately.

“Everything is very much under discussion and we want to have a clear idea of what this means for workers in the short term and the long term,” Local 7 spokeswoman Laura Chapin said.

The final offer from King Soopers, which owns the City Market chain, follows on the heels of a final offer to Safeway employees, who rejected it and are awaiting international union approval to go on strike.

The King Soopers final offer included a plea from the company president, asking employees to ratify the contract.

The offer includes “bonuses, raises, increased health care benefits and nearly $40 million to help stabilize the pension fund in an economy where other companies are withholding raises, slashing health-care benefits and freezing pensions,” King Soopers President Russ Dispense said in a statement.

Terms of the contract offer released by the company call for employees at the top of their pay scales to receive a wage increase of 30 cents per hour in the first year of the contract with subsequent 25-cent-per-hour, per-year increases for the remainder of the 52-month contract.

More than 65 percent of employees earn the top rate or above, the company said. Meanwhile, employees working toward top rates would receive between 4 and 5 percent increases during the contract.

Increases in health-care benefits include coverage after one year of service for part-time employees’ families for $60 per month. The plan, which does not increase employee contributions from the current contract, adds “a significant number” of preventive services, King Soopers said.

With ratification, employees will receive bonus gift cards ranging from $150 to $1,000, depending upon position, status and length of service, King Soopers said.

If Safeway workers go on strike, King Soopers has agreed to lock out its employees, whether they have taken a strike vote of their own or not.

No action was scheduled immediately for the City Market employees, Chapin said.


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