Jan 25, 2024 | By: Lakeland News

Brainerd Area Grocery Store Owners Respond After Workers Reject Contract Offer

Approximately 660 grocery workers from five Brainerd Lakes Area grocery stores continue to work without a contract after rejecting a contract offer from ownership of those stores last week.

Workers at Pequot Lakes Supervalu, Cub Foods in Brainerd and Baxter, and Super One Foods in Baxter and Crosby have been working without a collective bargaining agreement since Dec. 3 and staged a four-day strike around Christmas time. They said in a press release last week that they overwhelmingly voted to reject their employers’ offers a second time.

Workers say they are fighting for better wages and benefits to build a better life at work and better serve the communities that rely on them. They also say employer proposals continue to leave the most vulnerable part-time workers behind and have not kept up with inflation and rising costs of living in the Brainerd Lakes Area.

In a press release sent to Lakeland News, the owners of Super One Foods, Cub Foods, and Supervalu say that for more than 35 years, they have worked together on over 15 collective bargaining agreements with the UFCW Local 663 union. The statement says that they are hurt and surprised by the “damaging tactics” being used by the union’s new leadership.

The owners say that their last offer was their final offer and that it provides for more than a 15% increase in wages and benefits for their employees over the proposed two years of the contract. They say the offer is far and away the highest offer they’ve ever made to any local union they do business with, and that it is their most significant offer they’ve ever made with Local 663.

The press release notes it includes:

  • Significant wage increases for all employees which are competitive to the Baxter/Brainerd Lakes Area
  • No increase in health and welfare costs to employees
  • Eligibility for paid time off, bereavement leave, and jury duty pay
  • Holiday pay for baggers, carryout, custodial, and general cleanup employees

The union says it is requesting future bargaining dates, while ownership says they remain committed to respectful and responsible negotiations with union leadership.

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