King Soopers granted restraining order against workers’ union and picketers as strike enters week two

· Jan. 18, 2022, 7:04 pm
King Soopers workers went on strike Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022.

Updated on January 19, 2022 @ 10:30 a.m.

The seventh day of the ongoing employee strike between King Soopers and its workers ended with a temporary restraining order. 

Denver District Judge Marie Avery Moses partially granted the order against United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7, which was Tuesday by Kroger, the parent company of King Soopers. 

The company claims picketers have intimidated shoppers, harassed temporary employees, destroyed property and blocked store entrances, among other things.

King Soopers asked the court to stop the alleged actions and only allow up to five demonstrators on private property at a time. 

Moses granted the order but upped the maximum number of picketers to 10 people. Picketers must also stay 20 feet away from customers and employees while chanting and shouting. 

“Unfortunately, at several locations picketers are engaging in unlawful activity including threatening, blocking and intimidating both associates and customers who have chosen to cross the picket line,” said Jessica Trowbridge, a spokesperson for King Soopers. “The safety of our associates, customers, and communities will always come first and this temporary restraining order is a reflection of that commitment.”

The union called the allegations baseless. 

“UFCW Local 7 strongly disagrees with the unfounded allegations by King Soopers,” Union President Kim Cordova said in a statement. “There are over 8,000 workers, as well as members of the public on our picket lines, and we continue to call on everyone involved not to allow these baseless allegations and bullying tactics to distract us from what is important.”

In a previous release, Cordova said the union has made no progress with the grocer.

“This Company refuses to bargain,” Cordova said. “They want to stop our freedom of speech and curtail even more of the workers’ rights. We will not stand for that. We remain focused on our fight to give King Soopers/ Kroger workers the industry-leading contract that they deserve.”

Negotiations over a new labor agreement will continue Wednesday at the Denver Marriott Tech Center.

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