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Stronger Together! Merger and new organizing build power for Local 663


By Matt Utecht, President


I am proud to announce that the merger between UFCW Local 663 and UFCW Local 9 became official on Monday, November 1, 2021. Union members from United Food and Commercial Workers Locals 663 and 9 voted to build a better life together by overwhelmingly approving a merger vote on Thursday, October 21.

Together, our union will have more strength at the bargaining table, in organizing, in our communities and at the legislature. I’m honored to continue to serve hard working union members across the state. Our union welcomes anyone that wants to build a better life by joining together for higher wages, benefits and workplace protections.

This merger builds an even stronger frontline essential worker union in the five state area, with over 17,000 UFCW Local 663 members across various industries including workers in the grocery industry, meatpacking, healthcare, manufacturing, paramedics/emts and retail statewide. We are the largest grocery and meatpacking union in the Midwest. 

UFCW Local 9’s membership ranks join UFCW Local 663 as meatpackers employed in Austin at Hormel and Quality Pork Processing, as well as workers in food processing and various municipalities in southeastern Minnesota.

Members’ voices 

“Both of our local unions do good work sticking up for ourselves and all frontline essential workers during the pandemic. Our combined voices will give us more strength at the bargaining table, in all of the industries we represent,” said Mark Husbyn, UFCW Local 663 member at Cub Foods. 

“We’re stronger together. We’ve been working together already to improve meatpacking safety at the legislature so this merger is another step in the right direction for workers,” said UFCW Local 9 member and walking steward Claudia Ambriz, who works at Quality Pork Products in Austin.

We honor the past, and we grow

UFCW Local 9’s President Richard Morgan is transitioning into a leadership role as UFCW Local 663’s director of packing for southeast Minnesota. UFCW Local 9’s Secretary Treasurer Tim Schaefer will continue on as a union representative for UFCW Local 663.

“Both of our locals have deep roots in Minnesota’s labor movement. I’m looking forward to working with President Utecht on the next chapter as we continue to build membership power in Austin, Worthington and throughout the state,” said UFCW Local 9 President Richard Morgan.

New organizing

Make sure to check out the article about how workers at Half Price Books are forming a union with their coworkers through UFCW Local 663 in this Fact Finder. Make sure to follow them on Facebook at

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