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King Soopers employees who are members of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) are voting this week on a new five-year offer from the Kroger-owned chain, more than a month after their last contract expired.

Among the issues that have been contentious during the negotiations are the two-tiered pay and benefits system that the chain says it needs in order to be profitable and that the union says essentially freezes wages for most employees, and a proposal that retirement age be set at 55 rather than 50.

"This contract is a good contract in a good economy, but it's a great contract in this economy," King Soopers spokeswoman Diane Mulligan has been quoted as saying.

At the same time, King Soopers has gone to court to stop the union from going into the stores to talk to employees about the vote as well as talking to customers about the labor. However, the courts will not hear the case until Thursday, and the vote ends Wednesday.
KC's View:
The union completely loses me when it argues for a retirement age of 50.

Give me a break. I think even a retirement age of 55 is absurd. People are living into their eighties. Retirement ought to made later, not earlier.

To suggest that people should be guaranteed retirement benefits at age 50 is to highlight a complete and utter lack of touch with reality.