Welcome to UFCW Local 653

We Moved! Our new address is 6160 Summit Drive North, Suite 600, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430.

NEW! Letter from President Utecht to Membership re. Hy-Vee Survey

Health & Welfare and Pension

For information regarding your health insurance or pension.
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Why Union? The Union Benefits

When workers stick together as a union, they have bargaining power.
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Book Your Stay at Ours Resort

Find out more about booking a cabin at Ours Resort on Lake Superior in Lutsen, MN.
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Welcome to UFCW Local 653

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 653 represents many jobs, including grocery store workers, nursing home employees, exposition services and paramedic ambulance employees. Strong, active and informed members are essential to the strength of our union. With the participation of our members, the union is able to gain for improved wages, benefits and working conditions. UFCW Local 653 is proud to offer members monthly newsletters, special eventstournamentsscholarshipsticket drawings and access to Ours Resort.

list_desi.jpg Union meetings will be held the first Monday of every month (October - May) starting at 6:00 p.m. Join us to find out more current information regarding your union. 

Union Plus Everyday Savings

Our UFCW Family volunteering at the 2017 Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive



2017 Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive

Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 13 and join UFCW Local 653 and your neighbors for the largest single-day food drive in the country! Participating is easy, simply fill a bag with non-perishable food items, place it at your mailbox and your letter carrier will do the rest! You can also donate online and Land O’Lakes will match your gift up to a total of $25,000. Fill a bag, feed a family. Click here to learn more!stamp-out-hunger.jpg



Eastside Food Co-op Workers Join UFCW Local 653


UFCW Blog, On Point, made a special welcome to Eastside Food Co-op Workers. Click here for the full article. Remember to check out the On Point blog to stay up to date on all things UFCW!



Eastside Food Co-op workers vote to unionize with UFCW Local 653


 April 26, 2017

 Contact: Rena Wong, 612-865-4345, rwong@UFCW653.org


Eastside Food Co-op workers vote to unionize with UFCW Local 653


Workers at Eastside Food Co-op in Minneapolis won their election on Thursday, April 20th to form a union with the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 653. More than 70% of workers voted in favor of unionization. 


“Addressing economic justice issues like implementing a genuine living wage is a clear extension of our cooperative values,” said Brian David who works in Eastside’s IT department.” We are excited to begin the bargaining process because now, everyone will have an opportunity to be heard.”


Workers have begun circulating bargaining surveys to help the bargaining committee understand their co-workers’ priorities.


“I have been working at Eastside for seven years. Forming a union is going to help workers have a voice and support each other,” said cashier Molly Garner-Puff. “We want to make sure our co-op continues to be a sustainable store for the workers and the neighborhood.”


Many workers live close to Eastside Food Co-op in Northeast Minneapolis. Forming a union is how workers can actively ensure family sustaining jobs for the whole community. 


When workers first started discussing forming a union, they met discreetly to create a safe space to refine their goals and identify who would be most interested in organizing. They wanted to create their own organizing plan without worrying about potential management interference.


“Organizers gave advice, and UFCW members from Linden Hills Co-op and other retail stores offered support, but we led the organizing - Eastside Co-op workers,” said Alex Bischoff from the Meat Department. “I hope other working people who want to organize reach out to us. We would love to support them. We are always stronger together!”


Eastside Food Co-op workers were inspired by other workers who recently organized a union at Linden Hills Co-op, The Wedge Community Co-op and Whole Foods Co-op in Minnesota and the People’s Food Co-op in Michigan.

Eastside Food Co-op Workers Submit Cards for Union Election

Rena - East Side Co-op photo.jpg


Click here to read full article

Unions Urge Franken to Stop Privatization of Medicare

Read full article here


March 20, 2017

As part of an on-going campaign to stop the privatization of Medicare and Social Security, union and Working America(link is external) members delivered petitions signed by several hundred Minnesotans to the St. Paul office of U.S. Senator Al Franken Monday.


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Linden Hills Co-op Workers Vote to Unionize with UFCW Local 653

Click here for full article  

LH won our union.jpg FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 24, 2017


Contact: Rena Wong, 612-865-4345


Linden Hills Co-op workers vote to unionize with UFCW Local 653


Workers at Linden Hills Co-op won their election yesterday to form a union with the United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 653. 85% of workers voted in favor of unionization.


“We are excited to begin the bargaining process because it is the next step in making our already amazing co-operative even more amazing. We love where we work. This is an extremely positive thing!” said Tracie Lemberg from Health and Body Care.


Workers have begun circulating bargaining surveys to help the bargaining committee understand their fellow workers’ priorities.


“I have been working at co-ops in the Twin Cities since I was 16. Forming a union is the best way to make sure all workers are treated fairly and have a say in creating a positive work environment. I’m proud to work at this co-op and look forward to making it an even better place,” said Emily Calhoon from the Produce Department.


Workers want to actively ensure good jobs and a sustainable co-op that best serves the needs of the community.


Evan Adams-Hanson, a Front End Floor Coordinator said, “Forming a union reinforces co-op values of community throughout our store. Linden Hills Co-op can be a model for how workers and management cooperate to ensure fairness, transparency, and accountability at all levels.”


When workers first started discussing forming a union, they met at each other’s houses discreetly to create a safe space to refine their goals and identify who would be most interested in organizing.


“Organizers helped provide advice and experience, but this organizing was done by us – we were making commitments to each other to have each others’ back,” said Grocery Buyer, Bryce Christopherson. “For other workers who are forming their union I would advise as much transparency and outreach to your co-workers as feasible. And reach out – we are happy to help you go through the process of forming your union.”


Mark McGraw from the Scanning department said, “I feel more connected than ever to my co-workers and our store, and I’m excited to have all voices at the table as we move forward with our contract negotiations.”


Support for these workers has been pouring in.


“I am an assistant bakery manager and have been a member of my union for 20 years,” said Monica Hayes who works at the Lunds & Byerly’s in Richfield, “and I want to welcome my new brothers and sisters from Linden Hills Co-op.”


“Our union is part of a bigger movement for change. We want to raise industry standards for all retail workers. This is an example of how workers have power when we act together,” said Judi Johnson, an executive board member of UFCW Local 653 who works as the Floral Manager at the Blaine West Cub Foods.


“I’m excited that workers in Minneapolis are organizing a Union to secure long term improvements and ensuring good jobs in our city. Making sure workers have a voice on the job is democracy in action and is consistent with the spirit of democracy that is core to co-ops. As a member-owner at Linden Hills Co-op, I support these workers one-hundred percent,” said Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges.


“The organizing and activism of these workers is an inspiration to me and all the members of our Local. We wholeheartedly welcome them,” said UFCW Local 653 President Matt Utecht.


Linden Hills Co-op workers were inspired by other workers who recently organized a union at the Wedge Community Co-op and Whole Foods Co-op in Minnesota and the People’s Food Co-op in Michigan.




Support for Wage Theft Bill


Wage Theft Prevention Act one-pager.pdf


UFCW Statement on Andrew Puzder

For Immediate Release February 15, 2017
Contact: press@ufcw.org 

UFCW Statement on Andrew Puzder

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union, made the following statement about Andrew Puzder withdrawing his nomination for labor secretary.   


“Given recent reports that have come to light, it is clear that Mr. Puzder’s values were not the values of hard-working families. His withdrawal proves that the American people still have a voice and the power to shape our government.


“Now, the question is who comes next?


“Whomever the nominee for labor secretary is, they must respect the rights of all hard-working men and women. They must realize that their job is not to protect the interests of irresponsible corporations, but to protect the rights of all workers, including our members, who deserve and have earned a better life.”



The UFCW is the largest private sector union in the United States, representing 1.3 million professionals and their families in grocery stores, meatpacking, food processing, retail shops and other industries.

Our members help put food on our nation’s tables and serve customers in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.  

Learn more about the UFCW at www.ufcw.org.

Hy-Vee Delaying Decision to Move Forward in Robbinsdale

Click here for full article!

President Utecht is urging you to take this brief survey in opposition to Hy-Vee (click here)!


Linden Hills Co-op workers submit cards for union election

Click below for full article:


OURS RESORT...we have a deal for you! 

1/2 price on cabin rentals January 1-April 30, 2017! Call Sandy at the office for details: 763-525-1500


2016 Crow Wing County Fair

Local 653 member Bill Albrecht, pictured below with President Utecht, is our first $400 gift card winner at this year's Crow Wing County Fair! This gift card is to Super One Foods, one of our union grocery stores in the area. Each year Local 653 heads up to the fair to support our members and our local union grocers in the area. If you're at the fair, come visit us at the pirate ship this week for your chance to win too! Many more gift cards will be raffled. Visit our Facebook page to see more photos: https://www.facebook.com/ufcwlocal653/ 

8.2.16 400 dollar Super One gift card winner, Bill Albrecht.JPG 

Our Minnesota Nurses Association Needs your Support!

"UFCW Local 653 supports our MNA brothers and sisters--let's show them all the support we can!!! Labor needs to stick together now more than ever!!!" -President Matt Utecht

As most of you have likely heard, the Minnesota Nurses Association has authorized a strike at their Allina facilities. They need support from union brothers and sisters.

It's as easy as 1, 2, 3 to support the nurses!

1. Walk the Picket Line:

Nurses will be outside all five facilities from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., June 19-June 25, 2016. You can sign up for a picket line shift at www.allinastrike.org. Mid-week shifts are the priority.

2. If you haven’t already, please sign our public petition in support of Allina nurses: http://mnnurses.org/issues-advocacy/issues/petition/…

3. Sign the Public Letter: http://www.ufcw653.org/…/2066/Allina_Support_Letter_Form.pdf


UFCW Local 653 Staff Supporting Teamster US Food Workers on the Picket Line Last Week


Contract Passed!

Congratulations to all Local 653 members for the ratification of the new collective bargaining agreement.

2016 Minneapolis Retail Negotiations

The 2016 Minneapolis Retail Negotiations began Tuesday, January 26, 2016. The following proposals were made on Wednesday, January 27, 2016:

Local 653 Proposals to Management

Local 653 Proposed Store Closing Language

Employer Proposals to Local 653

Pictured below is President Matt Utecht with Minnesota AFL-CIO President Bill McCarthy and newly elected President of the Minneapolis Regional Labor Federation Chelsie Glaubitz Gabiou. Congratulations, Chelsie!






Local 653- Thank you for the educational grant, it is much needed and will be put towards my expenses here at NDSU.

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