Throwback Thursday: The King Soopers Strike of 96′


Gus Oswald, Reporter

On May 29, 1996, a group of employees at King Soopers were picketing outside the store. One of them was an ACC student and there were some interesting notes from the King Soopers striker. There was currently a fire near Buffalo Creek at the time, and the striker mentions how she wishes that their King Soopers store would catch on fire. That way they wouldn’t have to strike for better wages and could wait until a new store was built. The striker goes on to mention the varying responses they received from customers visiting the store.

Not everyone stood with what the Kings Soopers employees believed in. One customer yelled obscenities and preceded to try running over one of the strikers with his motorcycle. Others said they should be grateful to have a good job, and quit complaining about it.

But there were those who agreed with the strikers, and left King Sooper’s parking lot to go to Cub’s instead after hearing the striker’s part of the story. King Soopers was able to get a restraining order on the strikers that limited them to only three. Fortunately for them, the union workers were able to get the restraining order removed, as well as a their full returning group of strikers.

When the strikers got the time, they would go to Cadillac Jack’s across the street, which had a happy hour for strikers at four every day.

They were on their eighth day of striking at the time of the Rapp Street Journal article was written, and had been enduring long,tiresome days but not without success. Even though King Soopers hired an out of state firm named Falcon Global Security to make sure nothing got out of control, they really had no evidence to bring up of the strikers doing anything of that nature. Plus, there were many customers who supported them as they got honks from passerby vehicles, the parking lot was only half-full of cars, and customers have a symbiotic relationship with customers according to an 18-year-old employee at King Soopers named Gerry.”Some of those people have become like family,” said Gerry.

Roddy Benedik, a daily customer for over 13 years at the time, agrees with them and says, “It’s a disgrace that you can’t coordinate amongst the workers and management.”

In the end, the strikers knew they may not get what they wanted in time, but were willing to wait as they always had tomorrow’s happy hour at Cadillac Jack’s to look forward to.