Essential Grocery Store Workers Demand Fair Wages from Brainerd Cub Foods & Pequot Lakes SuperValu Grocer at State Capitol



Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Brainerd worker delegation calls upon Cub Grocer Chris Quisberg to negotiate for fair wages at Bi-Partisan Bag off event during MN Grocers Association’s Lobby Day

St. Paul, MN –On Wednesday afternoon, a Brainerd Lakes worker delegation of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 663 union members who work at Cub Foods and Pequot Lakes SuperValu grocery stores attempted to meet with MN Grocers Association Chair Chris Quisberg at the Minnesota State Capitol to demand fair wages. 

The worker delegation, made up of UFCW Local 663 members Faith Molby from Pequot Lakes SuperValu and Trace Ellward from Baxter Cub Foods attended the event to ask Quisberg if he will commit to coming to the table tomorrow in good faith to reach an agreement. Quisberg did not attend the event. You can watch their video message to Quisberg here.

The worker delegation coincided with the Minnesota Grocers Association’s Bi-Partisan Bag Off event in the Capitol Rotunda.

Hundreds of striking nursing home workers and supporters gathered in the rotunda in solidarity with UFCW Local 663 grocery members, reminding Chris Quisberg that essential grocery store workers deserve fair wages. 

Currently Brainerd Lakes grocery workers have been without a contract for 94 days, as the protracted labor dispute drags on because 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. Affected essential workers are from Quisberg’s Brainerd/Baxter Cub Foods and Pequot Lake SuperValu and Miner’s Super One Foods in Baxter and Crosby. 

Members have rejected two employer final offers that were similar to each other, the first occurred in December 2023, and the latest vote was rejected in January 2024.

The union bargaining committee and employers meet again for negotiations on Wednesday, March 6. The union bargaining committee welcomes good faith bargaining with the employers that resolves in a fair tentative agreement.

Watch the Facebook Live event, and the message to Chris Quisberg here.


Essential grocery store workers have been exercising their rights to take collective actions:

  • Over the Christmas Holiday, workers went out on a five-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.

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. Both employers reduced store and employee hours in retaliation for workers exercising their rights.

The five-day ULP Strike followed a strike authorization vote on December 12, in which an overwhelming majority of union members voted to authorize a strike.

Watch the ULP Strike announcement on YouTube.

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. We strive to improve the lives of our members and of all working families by fighting for economic, political, social justice in our workplaces and communities and the freedom to join a union. UFCW Local 663 is part of the 1.3 million-member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

Contact: Jessica Hayssen, 651-261-8559

You may also like