Lunds & Byerlys, unionized workers reach tentative deal
A day after unionized Lunds & Byerlys employees announced plans to strike later this week, the workers and company struck a tentative deal to avoid that strike.
UFCW Local 663, the union representing the workers, announced the agreement Tuesday morning, saying the deal would “provide significant raises for both full-time and part-time positions by Fall of 2024, and secures worker-driven healthcare.”
The union previously said employees have been without a collective bargaining agreement since March 7, and workers on Monday announced plans to strike at 22 stores west of the Mississippi River from Thursday through Saturday if no deal was reached. Instead, they won’t strike and will vote to ratify the tentative deal on Saturday.
“We won a lot of the raises and benefits that we’re fighting for,” Sarah Dike, a cheese specialist at the Maple Grove Lunds & Byerlys, said in a statement. “I look forward to talking more with my coworkers at the informational meetings we are holding so that we all understand what we will vote on later this week.”
“The bargaining committee believes that this tentative agreement respects, protects, and pays our members fairly. We look forward to sharing the agreement with the thousands of UFCW Local 663 members, and continuing to welcome new members who are working to organize their own workplaces,” UFCW Local 663 President Rena Wong added.
Lunds & Byerlys issued the following statement Tuesday morning:
“Lunds & Byerlys deeply values every team member and that is reflected in the tentative agreement we have reached with UFCW Local 663 on a new two-year retail contract. The agreement, which was unanimously supported by the union’s bargaining committee, will now go to a ratification vote by all members on Saturday, July 1.
“The tentative agreement ensures we will continue to provide industry-leading wages while also working with the union to make much-needed improvements to the current multiemployer healthcare plan. As we had requested, this agreement calls for those improvements to be made within the next 12 months. 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.
“Our resolve from the onset of these negotiations has been to champion industry-leading wages and a better healthcare plan for our team members, and we’re pleased the tentative agreement provides these benefits to our team members.”