Seward Co-op, union reach tentative deal

UPDATE: UFCW announced on Oct. 3 that its members unanimously voted to ratify the deal.

Seward Community Co-op and bargaining leaders for its unionized workers have reached a tentative agreement to avoid a possible strike.

A day after announcing the authorization of a strike, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 663 announced the breakthrough.

According to the union, the agreement would ensure that all workers receive at least $5 more per hour over the course of the three-year contract. Additionally, it would combine workers’ paid time off and sick time.

“We are proud to recommend this tentative agreement to our coworkers,” UFCW’s bargaining committee said Wednesday night in a prepared statement. “We are excited to work for this coop and live our values. Coop values are union values, and together we are stronger.”

The union also says it’s agreed to drop the unfair labor practices filing as part of the agreement.

Workers are scheduled to vote on Oct. 2 to ratify the contract.

“Seward Co-op management supports this industry-leading contract which provides higher wages and more staff benefits,” co-op management told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS in a statement.