June 16 2009, 10:05 AM
King Soopers clerk Vijay Nand says things have changed since he started with the company 28 years ago. Back then, he didn't have to pay for a visit to the doctor. Now he has co-pays. Stories like those were voiced as Denver-area employees overwhelmingly voted against a five-year contract offer last night, telling their union to instead go back and negotiate with the supermarket chain, writes The Associated Press. The union is demanding that workers receive equal pay for the same jobs and benefits at a time when King Soopers says the union is disrupting business by handing out fliers and buttons as employees work. "All we're asking for is a fair deal. And we really hope they don't lock us out for asking for livable wages and a pension plan that recognizes our contribution to company profits," Julie Gonzalez, a King Soopers worker said in a statement after the vote (via 9News). Workers in Colorado Springs, Longmont, and Boulder vote today and in Pueblo tomorrow. King Soopers is facing rising health-care costs and competition from non-union chains like Wal-Mart.