- Lunds & Byerlys workers represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663 announced Friday an “overwhelming membership vote” authorizing union members of the bargaining committee to call for an unfair labor practices strike against the grocer.
- The union local said it has filed unfair labor practices charges against the grocer with the National Labor Relations Board in response to “coercive statements to employees who were exercising their rights to participate in protected concerted activity, interrogating employees about union activity, illegal surveillance of union activity, and bargaining in bad faith.”
- Employees were scheduled to meet with Lunds & Byerlys’ executives on June 26 to “bargain in good faith for a contract that reflects the members' hard work,” per the Friday press release.
Local 663 represents more than 2,500 grocery workers at Lunds & Byerlys across the west metro area of Minneapolis, according to the press release. The unionized grocery employees announced the call for unfair labor practices as well as authorized a strike if necessary, via a video on YouTube and with a Twitter post on Friday evening.
“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,” Local 663 members said in a statement. “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.”
The employees have been working without a collective bargaining agreement since March 7, the press release noted. Workers are seeking “better wages, pay equity and to maintain worker-driven healthcare,” according to the press release.
Workers for the grocer have held informational pickets in the Twin Cities west metro area, including store locations in Eagan, Golden Valley, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove and Bloomington, Minnesota, according to Local 663.
Cub Foods workers who are also part of Local Union 663 in April called off a planned two-day strike after reaching a deal with the grocer giving unionized employees an increase in hourly pay by spring 2024 and creating a “landmark” safety committee.
Last week, workers for Schnuck Markets who belong to UFCW Local 88 overwhelmingly voted to reject the grocer’s contract offer and authorize union leadership to call for a strike “should it become necessary.”