Cub Foods Workers Authorize Strike Impacting Local Stores
More than 3,000 Cub Foods workers across the Twin Cities region will walk off the job Friday morning.
“Our customers are on our side but we definitely feel disrespected by the company and what they’re bringing to the bargaining table,” says Cub worker and United Foods and Commercial Workers Local 663 member Lauren Booth.
UFCW members say Cub parent company United Natural Foods, Incorporated is engaging in “unfair labor practices.”
“We had managers sneak on to Zoom meetings to listen in on what workers were planning and talking about through their unions and that’s illegal,” says UFCA President Rena Wong.
UNFI, a Rhode Island based company, bought Cub Foods from Supervalu five years ago. Sue Sami, a deli worker at the Maple Grove Cub, says UNFI should “reward those people that made you those millions and billions,” referring to the double digit sales increases UNFI earned during the pandemic.
“It was a scary time for us and now is the time to fight. Because we did survive the pandemic as a union and now we want to be respected, protected and compensated,” says Julie Craig, who also works at the Maple Grove Cub.
Union workers at 33 Cub stores will strike on Friday and Saturday. They plan to return to work on Monday and hope to reach an agreement with UNFI next week. If not, union leaders say they’ll dig in.
“Our members are willing to fight for as long as it takes,” says Wong.
FULL STATEMENT FROM CUB FOODS:
Cub cares greatly about its team members and has negotiated diligently and in good faith with UFCW local union #663 to finalize a new collective bargaining agreement. As part of its current offer, Cub has proposed historic wage increases and agreed to ongoing union health and pension plans on terms specifically requested by the union.
We’re deeply disappointed that the union elected to spend yesterday taking a strike authorization vote instead of using that time to meet with us to reach agreement on terms for a new contract. It is our strong hope that the union would choose to continue negotiations rather than pursue a strike. Given this morning’s news, we are now prepared to implement contingency plans to ensure the continued availability of the products and services our guests have come to count on from Cub. –Jeffrey Swanson, Vice President Communications & Media Relations, UNFI