DENVER -- King Soopers here has taken the highly unusual step of asking the Washington-based Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to draft a new labor contract for its workers in Colorado, a spokesman for FMCS told SN last week.
eway, Pleasanton, Calif., have been negotiating simultaneously with Kroger on new contracts covering a total of 17,500 workers.
FMCS traditionally does not draft labor contracts, John Arnold, the FMCS spokesman, told SN.
"I can't find anyone in the agency who can tell me that this has ever been done before," he said.
Arnold said FMCS would consider King Soopers' request, which was in the form of a letter dated Dec. 16, only if the UFCW agrees to the idea of a third party drafting its labor contract with the chain. The union has informed FMCS that it will respond to the chain's request on Jan. 2, Arnold said.
Scot Beckenbaugh, the regional director for FMCS who oversees the western United States, "is going to be very interested in how the union responds to this letter," Arnold said. "Even if the union agrees to it, we might not go ahead."