Yesterday, King Soopers employees represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local No. 7 rejected the chain's latest proposal, laying the groundwork for a potential May 9 strike. Taking such an action in this employment environment is risky, as witnessed by the long lines of folks who've applied for temporary jobs thus far -- which is why the UFCW is already making a concerted Internet effort to win consumers' hearts and minds. AlwaysHereForColorado.com avoids hardcore hectoring about the issues in favor of mini-profiles featuring Arlys Carlson, a second assistant at a store in Aurora who began working in the supermarket industry circa 1980, and Kim Pleasant, a checker with 32 years under her belt. Pleasant talks about growing so close to customers that she's been invited to the graduations of their children -- but "over the years, things changed. Corporate. They start acting like you are a number. At that point, you are no longer a person, just a number." The profile notes that Pleasant once encouraged younger employees to stay in the grocery biz, but now, "she tells them to stay in school and pursue other opportunities."
Of course, she may be seeing those who took this last piece of advice again -- when they cross the picket line and take her place at the cash register this weekend.