Management, union really don't want a grocery strike

The decision by employees at King Soopers and Safeway to keep working amid continuing negotiations with management through at least May 30 despite the fact that their respective contracts have expired indicates an understanding that striking amid an economic downturn is a worst-case scenario for all concerned. That doesn't mean a work stoppage is an impossibility. But the last thing grocers want these days is to be viewed by customers as hard-hearted and uncaring -- something the folks at United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local No. 7 understand full well. The union has set up, a website that has avoided hardcore hectoring since its launch. That's especially true of the most recent video to be posted on the site. In it, veteran King Soopers staffer Michael Sampson talks about his dedication to his job, his skills as a "people person," his hopes and dreams for his family -- everything except how he's being mistreated and exploited by The Man. The idea seems to be: Get the public to relate to grocery workers as their friends and neighbors, as opposed to muddying the waters with divisive facts and figures. Click above to check out the latest pitch.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts