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Strike averted: Cub Foods, union workers reach tentative contract agreement

Union leaders say the deal, which will be voted on April 11, will give employees a pay raise of between $2.50 and $3.50 by spring of next year.

MAPLE GROVE, Minn. — The union representing roughly 3,000 grocery store employees says a work stoppage set for Friday and Saturday is off after a tentative contract deal was reached with Cub Foods.

According to a press release from an official with UFCW Local 663, the proposed two-year agreement would give employees at 33 corporately-owned Cub Foods stores a significant bump in pay by spring of 2024.

If ratified, the 2-year deal will bump worker pay between $2.50 and $3.50 per hour, according to the release. Union officials say the new agreement is highly beneficial for part-time workers and retail specialists.

The union says the contract also establishes what it calls a "landmark" safety committee, and will push 300 people currently classified as retail specialists into full-time positions as "classified assistants." 

“What we have done, is we have re-written the history, and the future, for 3,000 souls and countless ahead of us,” Pam Wilson, a head Customer Service Manager at Cub – Eagan East said in a released statement. “We are a more powerful union now, and we are only going to continue to build our power together.”

Cub Foods released this statement following the tentative agreement: 

Cub is pleased to announce it has reached a tentative agreement for a two-year contract with UFCW Local 663 that will provide Minneapolis and west Metro area Cub team members with historic wage increases and continued comprehensive health and welfare and retirement benefits as requested by the union. The tentative agreement will need to be ratified by Local 663 members during a vote to be held next week, but as part of the agreement Cub team members will return to a normal work schedule tomorrow morning. We care greatly for our Cub team members and are pleased that our stores will be open and ready to serve our customers and communities throughout the holiday weekend.

A work stoppage was scheduled to take place from 5:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. both Friday and Saturday had an agreement not been reached. Not all of the details in the proposed deal have been released, but some of the main issues the workers were asking for were better wages and better protections for workers.

“This is a union of people who sacrificed beyond imagination, to keep Minnesotans fed during the pandemic. It is no surprise, then, that these grocery workers were able to organize the most powerful contract campaign the Twin Cities grocery industry has seen in decades,” said UFCW Local 663 President Rena Wong in a statement. “The bargaining committee believes that this tentative agreement respects, protects and pays our members fairly. We look forward to sharing the agreement with the thousands of UFCW Local 663 members, and continuing to welcome new members who are working to organize their own workplaces.”

As part of the agreement union leaders have called off a two-day strike that would have impacted nearly three dozen corporately-owned stores on what is usually an extremely busy holiday weekend. 

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