Wedge Members Ratify New Agreement
UFCW Local 1189 members at the Wedge Co-op overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new 3-year contract on Wednesday, May 29. The new contract expires at the end of March 2022 and passed with 93% of votes in favor of ratification. Some of the highlights include orientation language that allows a steward, on paid time, to spend up to 30 minutes with each new member to explain the benefits of Union membership. This will allow new members an opportunity to navigate and plan their career at the Co-op with more information and knowledge to be as successful as possible. Job openings will be posted in more locations, opening up more opportunities for members looking to advance their careers or who simply want a change of pace in a new department.The new contract also adds job security and protection for members with the additions of successorship and relocation language. In the event that the Employer considers contracting out any services to a third party, it must now meet with the Union and its members to discuss alternatives with the new subcontracting language. The addition of reassignment language protects individuals whose job or department may become obsolete in the future by securing and guaranteeing their rate of pay and progression if they’re relocated to a job with a lower pay grade. This language was a top priority for the members and adds concrete protection for members who have invested years with and take great deals of ownership in their Co-op. One of the biggest obstacles of these negotiations was to agree on a wage scale that complied with the new Minneapolis minimum wage increases while still rewarding long-service members and avoiding wage progressions. Each July the minimum wage increases a dollar on its way up to $15+. The new wage scale accomplishes this with a wage scale that adjusts each of the three years. Most members will see two increases per year, one on April 1 and one on their anniversary date. “The wage scale in the contract makes me think of Paul Wellstone and a belief I share with him that 'we all do better when we all do better'. As the Minneapolis minimum wage rises over the three years of our contract, the majority of us see our pay rise as well…I’m proud of my Co-op and of this contract. I am of course biased, but I ask you to please tell your friends and family to shop at the Wedge. They will be supporting a business where workers have negotiated fair wages without a fight and without having to sacrifice other benefits.” stated long-service Union steward and negotiating committee member Nathan Coombes. The Wedge is a member owned community co-op located in Minneapolis, Minnesota.