FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, January 19, 2024
Brainerd Lakes, MN –On Thursday, members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 663 who work at Quisberg’s and Miner’s grocery foods stores overwhelmingly voted to reject their employers’ offers for a second time.
Over the Christmas Holiday, workers went out on a four-day Unfair Labor Practices (ULP) strike against the grocery employers for engaging in tactics meant to stop workers from exercising their rights in the workplace. This was the largest Minnesota grocery worker strike in forty years.
Members met with employers for negotiations on December 27 and were given a final offer that was similar to the offer they rejected earlier in the month. Employer proposals continue to leave the most vulnerable part time workers behind and have not kept up with inflation and rising costs of living in the Brainerd Lakes area.
Workers have requested future bargaining dates from Quisberg’s and Miner’s.
The Union bargaining committee made this statement:
“Our resounding vote to reject our employers’ final offer is yet again another demonstration of unity. The results strengthen our resolve to hold the line and fight for a better future together.
Despite our employers who say it is “not appropriate” to pay workers the industry standard, we are holding the line for each other because we know that quality standards create good jobs. Good jobs help us pay the rent, car insurance, bills, and buy food for our families. Everyone should have a good job. We expect our employers to do better.
As union members of these communities, we will continue to work together to secure more for our families, communities, and customers.
Last month we stood together and demonstrated our power on the strike lines. We know we are not alone. Hundreds of loyal store customers did not cross the picket line. Instead, they joined us on the line, dropped off food, honked as they passed by, and continue to urge Quisberg’s and Miner’s to do the right thing for their employees.
We hope the employers will realize the value of us, the employees, and take pride in the fact that paying better wages can improve our lives which in turn, improves theirs.
The union bargaining committee welcomes good faith bargaining with our employers that resolves in a quick tentative agreement.”
Essential grocery store workers have been exercising their rights to take collective actions:
- Photos of Grocery Workers on ULP Strike.
- December 19: Watch video of workers attempting to talk with Chris Quisberg, owner of Cub Foods Brainerd/Baxter and Pequot Lakes Supervalu banners to get talks started again to avoid strike over Christmas.
- Photos of strike ready workers here.
UFCW Local 663 members have experienced interrogation, surveillance, and intimidation from their employers as they exercised their rights to participate in protected concerted activity. UFCW Local 663 has filed ULP charges against Quisberg’s and Miner’s for interrogation, surveillance, intimidation from their employers, and bargaining in bad faith.
The four day ULP Strike followed a strike authorization vote on December 12, in which an overwhelming majority of union members voted to authorize a strike.
United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 663 union members at Cub Foods, SuperValu and Super One Foods have been working without a collective bargaining agreement since December 3.
Members are fighting for better wages and benefits to build a better life at work and better serve the communities that rely on them. Members hope to come to a tentative agreement with the companies soon.
In 2023, thousands of metro area UFCW Local 663 members at UNFI Cub Foods, Lunds & Byerlys, Kowalski’s Markets, and Seward Community Co-op voted to authorize Unfair Labor Practice strikes and were able to restore their rights on the job, and come to tentative agreements on their Union contracts. The earliest ULP strike was set to start before the busy Easter weekend, and was averted just hours before it was slated to start.
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.
Contact: Jessica Hayssen, 651-261-8559