Eastside Food Cooperative Workers Ratify First Union Contract and Secure A Better Life

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Minneapolis, MN – Eastside Food Co-op workers ratified their first three-year contract, which will begin on January 1, 2018 and includes raises for all employees as well as establishes a just cause discipline procedure. Over seventy percent of Eastside Food Co-op employees voted to join United Food and Commercial Workers Local 653 in April.

“With this agreement, we won a stronger voice in the everyday conditions that impact our work environment and our experience working at Eastside—more equitable wages, adequate staffing and training, and timely addressing labor and safety concerns,” said Seth Kuhl-Stennes from the Front End.

“I’m excited that we’re going to be paid based on our experience, our knowledge and our the time we’ve been working here making Eastside successful,” said DK Prince from the Deli department.

“I know that we’re leaving a better co-op for future employees and for the community. I think it’s important to work at a place that values workers’ voices,” said MJ Banken from Beverage Bar & Cafe.

Community support for Eastside Food Co-op workers has been steady throughout the bargaining process.

As a longtime member of Eastside Food Co-op, a former EFC board member, and a union member, I am very excited that the workers here will be ratifying their first contract.  The success of our co-op is due in large part to the workers’ dedication and hard work, and this contract will ensure that they are treated fairly and with respect.  This is truly co-op values in action,” said Joy Anderson.

“I am inspired by the Eastside Food Co-op workers courage to stand up. Our union family is proud to help everyone at Eastside to improve their workplace and raise standards for all retail workers in Minnesota,” said President Matt Utecht of UFCW Local 653.

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UFCW Local 653 is a private sector union over 10,000 Minnesota workers strong in the grocery, food processing, retail, and other industries.

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