Minn. Workers Become 7th Store to Unionize in National Wave
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 9, 2023
Contact: Jessica Hayssen, 651-261-8559
Maple Grove, MN – Today, an overwhelming 85% of Minnesota REI workers in Maple Grove voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 663, becoming the 7th REI location in the country to successfully unionize.
“I am excited to have a say in policy that affects my work. I want to improve work-life balance and get more than 9 days notice on schedules so I have more flexibility to plan time with friends and family. I also want to see guaranteed hours for part time staff,” said Blake Buzzo, Shop Mechanic and member of the REI Maple Grove Organizing Committee.
“I am excited to form a union because I want to change the perspective. Retail workers are worthy of living wages and need accountability and clear communication from our leaders. As employees, we are skilled educators of the outdoors who are adapting everyday for business objectives, we are asking REI to do the same. Be a model to society and realize we are an asset to the company,” said Manny Yang, Customer Service Sales Lead and member of the REI Maple Grove Organizing Committee.
“We welcome workers at REI workers in Maple Grove to the UFCW Local 663 union family. We’re looking forward to building a better life together as a union. Now more than ever, it is important to join together in the workplace and form a union to protect, defend and build upon our rights in the workplace,” said UFCW Local 663 President Rena Wong.
Maple Grove REI workers unionized in order to finally have a voice in determining their work conditions. They look forward to bargaining for wages that match the rising cost of living, consistent and adequate hours, and proper staffing.
Today’s victory is part of a national wave of unionizing among REI workers who are standing together to hold the REI Co-op accountable to their stated progressive values following the successful unionization efforts at the SoHo, Berkeley, Cleveland, Chicago, Boston, Durham, and Bellingham stores.
UFCW Local 663 represents more than 17,000 hard-working retail, meat packing and processing, food preparation and manufacturing, healthcare, and other workers in Minnesota and Iowa. We strive to improve the lives of our members and of all working families by fighting for economic, political, and social justice in our workplaces and communities. UFCW Local 663 is part of the 1.3 million-member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.