Labor Dispute Simmers at Lunds & Byerlys

Talks continue after union members vote to authorize strike at Twin Cities indie
Lynn Petrak
Senior Editor
a woman smiling for the camera
Lunds & Byerlys operates 28 locations in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

Negotiations between members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 663 and Minneapolis-based Lunds & Byerlys continued on June 26 after union members voted to authorize a strike. Workers have been without a collective bargaining agreement since March 7.

Asking for better wages, pay equity and health care benefits, members of Local 663 approved the work stoppage on June 23. The union contended that the grocer engaged in unfair labor practices in a statement released to the media.

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That statement read in part, “As a bargaining committee, we know that the decision to call a strike is always a last resort, however, we refuse to continue to be bullied by our employer. A family owned, hometown hero such as Lunds & Byerlys should surely understand that this type of behavior has a negative impact on workers, customers and the communities we are proud to serve.” The union also released videos on social media thanking customers.

Lunds and Byerlys issued its own statement, underscoring its commitment to team members and noting that it has put forth several proposals during the bargaining process with UFCW Local 663. “Our current proposal includes wages that continue to be among the best in our industry and a company-sponsored health care plan to provide our team members with lower out-of-pocket expenses and better health care benefits,” the company shared, citing benefits like improved access, tiered coverage options, greater wage replacement under short-term disability and flexible spending accounts. “We are disappointed the union chose to take a strike authorization vote as we remain hopeful progress can be made toward a mutually beneficial agreement. If a strike were to occur, we will implement our contingency plans so we can continue to provide exceptional service to customers at all of our stores.”

Family-owned Lunds & Byerlys operates 28 locations throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding region. 

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