Daily Update from President Utecht


March 23, 2020

Dear Member,

Today I sent a letter to all of our union retail grocery employers strongly encouraging them to allow all of our union members to have the option to wear protective gloves during your shift at work if you so choose. Here is the content of the letter I sent:

Dear Grocery Retail Employer:

As you know, grocery store workers are critical first responders. Our members are on the frontlines helping customers in our communities every day in retail grocery stores throughout the state. Every one of our union members deserves every possible protection and benefit that critical first responders have available.

In the grocery industry, our cashiers do not have the luxury of social distancing with customers. In fact, they are engaged in hand to hand combat with this invisible virus that we are fighting to stop. Cashiers have to interact with customers at the point of sale and come into contact with products and currency from customers.

I’m writing to strongly encourage you to allow all of our union members who are your employees to have the option to wear protective gloves during their shift at work if they so choose. This would give union members another option in addition to following CDC guidelines to do their best to avoid contamination of COVID-19.

If you have questions or would like to discuss, please contact me directly. Thank you.



Ancillary Benefits Expanded for Members in Part-Time Positions

On Saturday, I announced in the daily update that the Health & Welfare Board of Trustees approved an expanded Ancillary Benefit Package for members in part-time positions to include Doctor on Demand, which is video/virtual doctor health visits, to the Board of Trustees. This afternoon we sent a text out to all eligible union members to urge them to take advantage of this benefit.

Your employer will offer a renewed open enrollment period for those current members who are already employed, as well as the regular open enrollment period for new hires. Check www.663benefits.com for information as it is updated by Wilson-McShane, our Health & Welfare Administrator.

The current Ancillary Benefits Package includes:

Because members who elect Ancillary Benefits Package or currently have it won’t have Blue Cross Blue Shield cards, each time they use Doctor on Demand there will be a $49 out of pocket cost. However, the MRMC Health & Welfare fund will reimburse the member if they send their receipt to Wilson-McShane, the Plan’s administrator.

Union Health and Welfare To Cover 100% Cost of COVID-19 Tests

I want to also remind you that eligible union members now have more COVID-19 coverage. Read more about additional changes to benefits to help our union families during the COVID-19 outbreak here: https://663benefits.com/.

Have a Question? Ask your Union Rep

If you have a question about work, please make sure to reach out and ask your union representative. They are here to help you. To find out who your union representative is, use this link on our website.

Union Representatives

Amber Allen, 612-865-6755


Jess Alexander, 612-567-1225


Scott Larson, 612-961-6305


Rick Milbrath, 612-965-4310


Ondrea Shallbetter, 612-406-9419


Jim Schommer, 612-965-4308


Doug Rigert, 612-889-9121


More Thanks for Grocery Workers

The love and appreciation keeps coming your way on our testimonials page:

Full of gratitude and thankfulness for all people who work tirelessly to put food and grocery items on the shelves for our benefit. You are amazing and I so appreciate everyone of you. A big THANK YOU!– Mike

Thank you all for working long hours, dealing with the madness and doing it with such dedication!– Pam D

Thank you to my meat cutters, stockers and employees at shakopee cub foods . We have worked extra hard on putting meat in the counter the last 7 days. I couldn’t be more proud of my meat staff this last week. I truly work with a great team. Let’s keep it up and give our customers what the need.– Jeremy Dvorak, meat manager, Shakopee Cub Foods

Major kudos, thanks, and tons of gratitude to Star working as a cashier at Cub in Bloomington! She was so patient and helpful despite the chaos of the store. She even knew many of the customers by name – no one does that! Thank you, Star!– Jessica

Click here to leave an encouraging message for your fellow coworkers and union family.

Talk with you tomorrow. Thank you all for all that you do.


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