Lunds & Byerlys workers reach tentative agreement, averting strike

Grocery workers at Lunds & Byerlys have reached a tentative agreement with the store, averting a strike over the July 4th holiday weekend

In a news release on Tuesday, UFCW Local 663 said grocery workers had planned to walk off the job Thursday morning but have reached a tentative agreement that "would provide significant raises for both full-time and part-time positions" by the fall of 2024. It also "secures worker-driven healthcare," the release said. 

"We won a lot of the raises and benefits that we’re fighting for," said Sarah Dike [pronounced D.K], cheese specialist at the Maple Grove Lunds & Byerlys, "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 union says 2,500 workers at 22 Lunds & Byerlys stores across the Twin Cities had been working without a contract since their previous contract expired on March 7. Workers voted on Friday, June 23, to authorize an unfair labor practice strike that was scheduled for June 29, 30 and July 1. The strike was called off, though, Monday night when the parties reached a tentative agreement. 

"Our members kept Minnesotans fed during the pandemic, even in the most uncertain of times. They took the strength and courage they used during those times and stood united to win contracts for their coworkers that reward the sacrifices they made, and sets them up to build even better lives in the future," said UFCW Local 663 President Rena Wong. "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." 

Lunds & Byerlys released a statement that reads in part, "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."