Unionized Lunds & Byerlys employees set possible strike dates
Unionized Lunds & Byerlys employees at several west metro stores plan to strike later this week if they don’t reach a new deal with the company.
Monday morning, employees represented by UFCW Local 663 said they’ll strike all day Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 22 stores west of the Mississippi River. The full news conference can be watched in the video player at the bottom of this article.
It comes after the union members voted on Friday to authorize a strike, and union officials say it’d be the first time Lunds & Bylerlys workers strike if it goes that far.
The union said workers have been working without a collective bargaining agreement since March 7. The next bargaining session between union members and Lunds & Byerlys was set for Monday.
The union is calling for higher wages, pay equity and worker-driven health care, and has accused Lunds & Byerlys of bullying employees and bargaining in bad faith.
UFCW Local 663 released this statement Friday announcing their intent to strike:
“Today, our coworkers demonstrated the power that comes from standing together against company intimidation. Lunds & Byerlys has engaged in unfair labor practices meant to stop us from exercising our rights despite our tireless efforts to serve customers every day–throughout the pandemic and beyond.
As a bargaining committee, we know that the decision to call a strike is always a last resort, however, we refuse to continue to be bullied by our employer. A family owned, hometown hero such as Lunds & Byerlys should surely understand that this type of behavior has a negative impact on workers, customers and the communities we are proud to serve.
We look forward to meeting Lunds & Byerlys at the table on Monday to bargain in good faith for a contract that reflects the members hard work.”
Lunds & Byerlys released the following statement in response:
“Lunds & Byerlys deeply values every team member and that is reflected in the numerous proposals we
have put forth during our bargaining process with UFCW Local 663.
Our current proposal includes wages that continue to be among the best in our industry and a company-sponsored healthcare plan to provide our team members with lower out-of-pocket expenses and better healthcare benefits. Some of those benefits include quicker access to coverage, tiered coverage options, and greater wage replacement under short-term disability. The company-sponsored plan also extends new benefit options such as flexible spending accounts, supplemental life insurance and long-term disability coverage.
As we seek to find common ground with the union, we recently updated our proposal to provide an
opportunity to make much-needed improvements to the current multiemployer healthcare plan. If the
improvements are not made, then our team members would have the opportunity to vote to stay on
the multiemployer healthcare plan or move to our plan. The union has opposed that proposal as well.
We continue to believe our team members who are members of 663 deserve better healthcare.
We are disappointed the union chose to take a strike authorization vote as we remain hopeful progress
can be made toward a mutually beneficial agreement. If a strike were to occur, we will implement our
contingency plans so we can continue to provide exceptional service to customers at all of our stores.
Customers can stay informed of any adjustments to our store operations on our social media channels
or by visiting LundsandByerlys.com.
Lunds & Byerlys has a long and rich history of partnering with labor unions while proactively proposing
wages and benefits that have continued to set industry standards. Throughout those many decades, we
have always been able to reach mutual agreement.
We remain committed to working with the union to again find common ground.“
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS has reached out to the company for a new statement following the union’s announcement of its planned strike dates and will update this story if a statement is received.
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