Employees for Colorado’s largest grocery chain–King Soopers–overwhelmingly rejected a five-year contract deal last week in the hopes that their union could get the bosses back to the negotiating table to hammer out a better deal. Yesterday, the workers received some ammunition in their fight.

Kroger Co., King Soopers’ parent company, posted profits that are up by 12.7 percent in the first quarter, according to the Denver Business Journal, which notes Cincinnati-based Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket company, made more than $435 million in profits for the quarter. The news comes as King Soopers workers complain that Kroger is seeking to cut their benefits in a dispute that has left workers without a contract and fearing a lockout since May 9.

While Kroger and other chains have tried to become trendier in recent years, the recession has allowed them to re-focus on the staples they sell in the center aisles, including their own brands: “The back-to-basics drive is helping grocery chains become among the best performing retailers,” writes The Wall Street Journal.