DENVER — Metro-area Safeway and Kroger-owned King Soopers grocery store clerks and meat cutters on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to ratify a four-year contract that they rejected in a vote late last year. The new agreement covers about 3,000 retail clerks and meat cutters in Denver, Broomfield, Parker and Castle Pines.
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 backed the “yes” vote, because a new part of the agreement heads off a 21% health insurance premium hike faced by 2,000 retired workers, in addition to the original offer of a ratification bonus, wage hikes, improved health care benefits, and a plan to stabilize the pension plan.
After an audit of the insurance plans by Local 7, the union said it persuaded the chain stores to transfer a $12-million surplus from the active employees insurance trust to the retirees’ health fund.
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