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United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local No. 7, which represents 17,000 grocery workers at chains that include Safeway, King Soopers and Albertsons, said workers are preparing to possibly strike May 10 -- one day after their contract expires -- over a disagreement about pay and pension benefits.
The grocers have already begun posting ads for thousands of temporary workers -- a typical precaution taken as labor contracts near their end. Safeway said that while it’s hopeful of reaching an agreeable resolution, it must plan for the possibility of a labor dispute.
The UFCW hasn’t been able to reach a deal with Colorado's three biggest grocery store chains over pension cuts, saying that the retailers want to cut pension benefits by as much as 50 percent.
The grocers maintain that the cuts are necessary to compete with non-union chains such as Wal-Mart.