Business & Economy

Lunds & Byerlys reaches agreement with workers, averting strike

People in green shirts stand in a line
United Food and Commercial Local 663 President Rena Wong Stands along side Lunds & Byerlys grocery workers outside of Lunds & Byerlys in northeast Minneapolis as they announce strike dates on Monday.
Aaliyah Demry | MPR News

Union workers at Lunds & Byerlys grocery stores announced Tuesday they’ve reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, averting a strike that was set to begin later this week.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663 said the deal includes significant raises by fall of 2024 and maintains what the union calls worker-driven health care.

Before the agreement was reached, the union had planned an unfair labor practice strike at 22 Lunds & Byerlys stores in the western Twin Cities metro area, ahead of the July 4th holiday.

The union said its bargaining committee will hold meetings for members to look over the tentative agreement, with a ratification vote planned for Saturday.

Workers held a press conference on Monday in front of a Lunds & Byerlys in northeast Minneapolis and accused employers of bullying, interrogation and illegal surveillance of union activity. 

Employees want better pay wages, pay equity and worker-driven health care. A statement from Lunds & Byerlys said it has a history of “proactively proposing wages and benefits that have continued to set industry standards.”

“Our current proposal includes wages that continue to be among the best in our industry and a company-sponsored health care plan to provide our team members with lower out-of-pocket expenses and better healthcare benefits,” the statement said.

UFCW Local 663 is the same union that represents workers at Cub Foods who negotiated for better pay earlier this year. Union President Rena Wong said if Cub can meet their employees' needs, Lunds & Byerlys can do the same.

“The workers here are looking for Lunds & Byerlys to be an industry leader right? Cub workers have settled their contract and Lunds & Byerlys prides itself on leading the market and we believe they should the same if not better,” Wong said.