For the first time ever, Cub Foods workers were on the cusp of walking the picket lines on April 6.
After over 94% voted to strike on April 3 via Facebook the decision was made to drop the timecard in favor of a protest sign. About 3,000 workers were set to join in solidarity in front of 33 stores in Minnesota. The strike was scheduled to last through Easter Sunday.
However, it looks like the two sides worked long into the night to agree on a tentative deal.
One produce manager said striking was a “last resort thing” but was necessary before leadership tried to “bowl us over” with the next contract. The UNFI Local 663 members were seeking a two-year contract with a total raise of $4/hour—$2/hour during the first year and $2/hour during the second year. Cub Foods countered with a $2.75/hour raise over two years, and the two sides agreed to increases between $2.50 and $3.50/hour by next spring.
The deal also includes the establishment of a safety committee and benefits for part-time workers and retail specialists.
“Cub is pleased to announce it has reached a tentative agreement for a two-year contract with UFCW Local 663 that will provide Minneapolis and west Metro area Cub team members with historic wage increases and continued comprehensive health and welfare and retirement benefits as requested by the union,” Cub Foods said in a statement. “The tentative agreement will need to be ratified by Local 663 members during a vote to be held next week, but as part of the agreement Cub team members will return to a normal work schedule tomorrow morning. We care greatly for our Cub team members and are pleased that our stores will be open and ready to serve our customers and communities throughout the holiday weekend.
The Union will vote to approve the contract on April 10.
UFCW Local 663 President Rena Wong called the display the most powerful contract campaign the Twin Cities grocery industry has seen in decades, and added the tentative agreement serves members fairly.
Prior to the deal, employees claimed they had not received a decent pay raise in over a decade despite sticking it out and supporting the company during the COVID-19 pandemic.