For months on end, contract negotiations between grocery store workers at King Soopers, Safeway, and Albertsons seemed to be at an impasse. The specter of a strike loomed at times, but at long last it seems workers are happy, and the saga is over.

As Westword predicted, the extra money going into retirees’ health and welfare funds seemed to help, as United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 supported ratification of a new contract that spokesman Dave Minshall characterizes as a “win-win.”

Metro area Safeway and King Soopers grocery store clerks and meat cutters have now ratified the four-year deal after rejecting one in a similar vote last year (via 9News). The new agreement covers thousands of workers in Denver, Broomfield, Parker, and Castle Pines and prevents a 21 percent hike in health insurance premiums while increasing wages.

The new metro area contracts go into effect at once, but some grocery workers around the state, who voted against the original contract, still must vote again in coming days, according to union officials (via the Grand Junction Free Press).