Friday, July 28, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jessica Hayssen, 651-261-8559
Minneapolis, MN–Grocery workers who are members of UFCW Local 663 were slated to walk off the job Friday, August 4 at Kowalski’s have reached a tentative agreement for a two year contract that provides significant raises for part-time and full-time positions, and secures worker-driven healthcare. The strike has been called off.
The union bargaining committee is currently organizing informational meetings for members to review the tentative agreement and plan for a ratification vote next week.
“We secured our Union Healthcare, won historic wage increases, pay equity and secured our retirement,” said Jacob Stromquist, produce manager at the Lyndale Kowalski’s store, “I’m proud to be a UFCW Local 663 member and Kowalski’s employee.”
UFCW 663 members continued working since their union contract–which covers over 600 workers at six Kowalski’s stores–expired on March 5th. Members voted on Monday, July 24 to authorize an unfair labor practice strike that was scheduled for August 4, 5 and 6. The strike was called off today when the parties reached a tentative agreement.
Other grocery store workers took notice of this agreement. Workers at Lunds & Byerlys recently ratified their contract on July 1. Jayson Gallager, deli manager at Lunds & Byerlys downtown, remarked about the win at Kowalski’s, “Congratulations to workers at Kowalski’s who stood together for better wages and secure benefits. Working at Lunds & Byerlys, I experienced first hand what we are capable of when we come together. L&B and Kowalski’s workers are UFCW Local 663 members, and with each win we have, I continue to be encouraged and inspired by our strength. This truly demonstrates the power we have when we come together as workers. Our power as a union. And this is only the beginning.”
United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663 is a union of more than 17,000 hard-working essential workers in retail, meat packing and processing, food preparation and manufacturing and healthcare in Minnesota led by President Rena Wong. 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. Local 663 is part of the 1.3 million-member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.