Workers receive among highest starting wages for co-ops around the country
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 3, 2023
Minneapolis, MN –United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 663 union members at Seward Community Co-op unanimously ratified an industry leading union contract on Monday that provides livable wages, pay equity and benefits.
Full Time and Part Time workers at the top or above scales will receive $5.00 over three years, and Full and Part Time workers in the wage scales will receive a minimum of $6.50 over the three year agreement. Some members will gain upwards of $8.00 more by the end of the three year contract.
The starting wage is now $17.65 an hour, which is among the highest starting wages for co-ops nationwide.
“We were able to win substantial raises for every single union member at Seward. These are life changing raises that make a real difference in peoples’ daily lives. It gives us as workers a real future at the co-op because the majority of workers will be getting over $4.00 in raises in the first year of the contract alone. We’re excited to help pave the way for retail workers in Minnesota and around the country, ” said Anthony Taylor-Gouge, a Grocery Shift Lead at the Franklin store location.
Additional gains include PTO and sick time will now be combined, increased parental leave and establishing a pay equity process.
“We unanimously passed a contract which works to benefit all of our workers in significant ways. This wasn’t accomplished by a couple, a few, or even a dozen union members, it was everyone’s effort for everyone’s benefit. We won together,” said Whitney Peterson, a multi-department clerk.
Seward Co-op employs upwards of 180 essential grocery store workers. The new contract is retroactive to August 21, 2023.
UFCW Local 663 agreed to drop the Unfair Labor Practices filed as a part of the tentative agreement.
UFCW Local 663 represents more than 17,000 hard-working essential retail, meat packing and processing, food preparation and manufacturing, healthcare, and other workers in Minnesota. 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.
Contact: Jessica Hayssen, 651-261-8559