Lunds & Byerlys union workers averted a strike thanks to a new labor agreement with the grocer.
Following a strike authorization on June 23 and extended negotiations between members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 663 and Minneapolis-based Lunds & Byerlys, union members voted on July 1 to ratify a new two-year contract with the grocer. According to UFCW Local 663, the contract will bring historic wage increases and pay equity to its members.
The agreement covers 2,500 workers at 22 Lunds and Byerlys locations throughout the Twin Cities, and will allow for raises of $3 to $4 an hour by spring 2024. The union also shared that part-time courtesy and custodial workers will receive wage increases under the new contract.
Workers had been without a collective bargaining agreement since March 7, and were asking for better wages, pay equity and health care benefits. The union contended that the grocer engaged in unfair labor practices in a statement released to the media.
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.”
For its part, Lunds & Byerlys released a statement underscoring its commitment to team members and noting that it had 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.
Family-owned Lunds & Byerlys operates 28 locations throughout Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding region.