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."
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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.