Your bargaining committee started negotiations on August 23, 2019 and are scheduled to meet again on September 13. We were able to make progress and will be starting to negotiate wages and benefits. Thank you to everyone who filled out a survey or spoke with a bargaining committee member. Those surveys and conversations are what drive the proposals. Your bargaining committee is made up of your fellow coworkers: Christy C, Angel F, Kim H and Jay T and UFCW Staff Representatives Bruce Bergh, James Westin and Stacy Spexet. Without a Union you would not have a voice in the workplace; you would not be able to have a steward sit in on an investigation. No Union means you cannot negotiate your workplace rules and management gets to make all of the rules and implement the work rules. Without a Union your schedule could change at a moment’s notice and day to day. Without a Union you can be fired at any time for any reason.
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.
UFCW Local 1189 has reached a tentative agreement with The Wedge. A ratification vote will be held on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. in Classroom C at the Lyndale location. Click here Wedge Voting Doc.pdf to view the voting document and Copy of Final Pay grades 051619.pdf to view the wage information. Contact Union Representative Abe Wangnoo with any questions.
Wednesdy May 8, 2019 Union members covered by the"Grocery" contract voted overwhelmingly (80% of voters said YES) to ratify a new three year agreement. Union members voted at the Union office and in their store breakrooms at Mount Royal and at Super One stores located in Hibbing, Virginia, Grand Rapids, Duluth, Superior, Cloquet, Two Harbors, and Pike Lake. Members voted yes on the following improvements: Increased Wages and Wage Scales, Part-time progression increases (every 1040 hours instead of 1560), Improved Pension Funding (.20/hr), Increased Employer Contribution to Health Care Plan (small increase for employees), Improved Funeral Leave Benefits and Vacation Benefits for part-time non-food handlers.
The vote for Members covered by the "Meat Contract" was closer with 70% of the members ratifying the agreement. Members in the meat department stated that no changes in the apprentice scales (even though top rate increased) and the desire for a higher wage rate cause them to vote no,
UFCW 1189 President Jennifer Christensen stated, "We are please with the high turnout. I would like to extend my thanks to the bargaining committee, the membership and the community for their support of our Union grocery workers. We were able to get an agreement that we could live with and support because the Employer heard our concerns and responded with a respectful proposal."
UFCW Local 1189 members at Kowalski’s Central facility in Shoreview voted overwhelmingly in favor of ratifying a new three-year agreement on May 8. The agreement contains a number of improvements for top of scale/over scale wages, protection for parents during emergency weather situations, improvements to the holiday pay language, more flexible vacation scheduling and improvements to on-call pay. The contract passed with a 96% vote in favor of ratification. Kowalski’s Central facility is the production facility for much of the Company's grab-and-go deli, salads, bakery, pastries, cakes and smokehouse meat items.