UFCW Local 663’s Roger Olson Celebrates 50 years of Membership


By Scott Larson, Union Representative

I recently delivered a “50” year pin to a veteran of our industry. Roger Olson completed his 50th Year in May of 2020. His dedication and perseverance over the last 50 years are an amazing accomplishment. I want to thank Roger for his service in our industry for the last 5 decades. Here’s an account of a remarkable career:

Roger started his grocery career in May of 1970 at Corporate Red Owl and it was managed by Ev Green. He worked as a Carry Out/Bagger making $1.60 per hour. Roger says:

“During that time stores were all closed on Sunday’s and they had separate wage scale for cashiers and stockers. When the stores were able to open on Sundays, full-time employees were paid overtime. If there were no full-time volunteers, the senior part-time employees were offered the double-time wage. Products were much different; if you wanted frozen pizza your choices were Totino’s or Jeno’s. There was no Tombstone or Heggie’s at the time.”

From September of 1979 Roger started at Lee Johnson’s Red Owl and Roger worked as the Grocery Manager. From June 1980 until November 1983, Roger was at Haug’s SuperValu in Glen Lake and Deephaven, and was Frozen Food/Dairy Manager. November 1983-June 1985 Tyra’s SuperValu in Deephaven as Frozen Food as the Diary Manager.

His list of employers goes on:

June 1985 – November 1987 Tyra’s County Store – New Hope

Owner: Fritz Tyra, Position: Store Manager

November 1987 – October 1989 Plymouth County Store

Owner: 3C’s Corporation – Red Owl, Position: Assistant Manager

October 1989 – Present Almsted’s New Market, St Louis Park and Crystal

Position: Store Manager

Roger remarks, “It has been an interesting and fulfilling career in the grocery business. It’s hard to believe that 50 years has gone by. Through all the changes that have happened in our business, the one constant has been our Union Representation. When I started it was the Amalgamated Meat Cutters and Butcher Workman and it has evolved into the United Food and Commercial Workers that we are part of today. For that I am always thankful.”

He goes on to say, “Change can be difficult in our business, but at the end of the day, it is still about the customer and taking care of them.” “It has been a privilege to have worked with and for all of the people that I have in this business. I like to think I learned something from all of them.”

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