Enroll in Free College deadline January 12

A great UFCW member benefit is free college! Enroll now for spring semester.

Check out the link for more information: http://www.ufcw.org/College/

Deadline is January 12, 2018!

If you are a UFCW 653 member and are considering enrolling, let your union representative know! We’d like to feature you in an upcoming article for our membership!

Happy Holidays!

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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.


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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UFCW 653’s Mark McGraw receives OUTreach scholarship to national Creating Change Conference

New UFCW Local 653 member Mark McGraw of Linden Hills Co-op recently received one of five prestigious nationwide UFCW OUTreach scholarships to attend the Creating Change Conference in Washington D.C. this January. Congratulations!

Mark is thoughtful, inclusive, and fearless in his organizing. His humor and ability to speak the truth helped advance conversations with fellow bargaining committee members and co-workers in store more than once throughout the organizing and bargaining. He took the time to talk to every co-worker about wanting to represent them at the bargaining table and asked for their vote – he ended up with the most votes.

The Creating Change Conference is organized by the National LGBTQ Task Force and it is the foremost political, leadership and skills-building conference for thousands of committed people to develop and hone their skills and share victories. In the past two years, the OUTreach Executive Board members have participated as one of the leading workshop presenters, putting our union, UFCW, in the forefront as a key voice for working class and labor issues at this conference. In a time where the labor movement and everything we have fought for is under attack, OUTreach’s dedication to organizing social and economic justice for all workers and ensuring full equality of LGBTQ workers at work and in their union reflects our union’s commitment to building a resilient working class that is not divided by hate.

UFCW OUTreach is a constituency group dedicated to building mutual support between our union’s International, regions, and locals and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community and their allies in order to come together to organize for social and economic justice for all, regardless of age, race, gender, creed, color, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Together, they will ensure full equality for LGBT workers on their jobs and in their unions.

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What do you want to see in New Fact Finder?

Attention UFCW Local 653 members! We’re redesigning the Fact Finder newsletter to better fit the needs of our membership. Best newsletter ever? Yes! But only with your help. Please take one minute to do this quick online survey so we can listen and respond to your voice! Thank you!

Complete survey here!



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Ours Resort Half Priced Deals!

Ours Resort is a special place any time of year, and it’s a wonderful destination in the winter.  It’s located just one mile from the Lutsen Mountains ski resort, which has great ski slopes.  There are also nearby snowmobile and cross country ski trails.  Even if you’re not into outdoor activities, it’s hard to beat sitting in front of a nice fire looking over Lake Superior.

Sound interesting? We’re making it even more affordable than usual! Starting December 1, reservations made for stays between January 1 – March 31, 2018, are HALF PRICE!
Ours Resort is owned and operated by UFCW Local 653. It consists of six cabins on Lake Superior in Lutsen, MN. Each cabin is fully furnished–you only need to bring your food, clothes, and personal items. (Check our web-site–www.ufcw653.org–under Member Benefits for more information.)

Ours Resort is available to active, dues-paying members of Local 653 and retired mem-bers who are receiving a UFCW Local 653 pension.  Call Sandy at the Local 653 office (763-525-1500) today to make your reservations.  You’ll be glad you did! Ours Half-Price Sale Flyer

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Union Label now proudly at Linden Hills Food Co-op

The UFCW Local 653 Union Label window cling is now proudly facing customers as they enter Linden Hills Food Co-op. Have a great weekend, everyone! #unionlabel #1u #checkthelabel #shopunion

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UFCW Local 653 & Quisberg’s joins groundbreaking efforts to help eliminate blood cancers across the globe

 UFCW Local 653 & Quisberg’s joins groundbreaking efforts to help eliminate blood cancers across the globe

Baxter, Minnesota – Today, S & R Quisberg Incorporated is making their mark in creating a world without blood cancer with the launch of Labor Against Cancer. Labor Against Cancer is a movement to end the devastation of cancer, led in Minnesota by the passionate members of The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 653 and The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS).

S & R Quisberg, operating stores in Brainerd and Baxter under the name Cub Foods and Pequot Lakes Supervalu, launched a company-wide initiative and is encouraging its customers to make donations at checkout to benefit Labor Against Cancer. All donations help in the fight against blood cancers. Customers can donate now through November 18th at Cub Foods in Brainerd and Baxter, or at the Supervalu in Pequot Lakes.

Members of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 653 work at Cub Foods in Brainerd, Baxter and Supervalu in Pequot Lakes. Nationwide, the UFCW represents 1.3 million members and has been a powerful voice for LLS since the partnership began in 1982. The organization has raised $83 million for LLS’s goal to find cures and ensure blood cancer patients have access to lifesaving treatments. Similar fundraisers are planned in the Twin Cities area in 2018 at union grocers.

“Our union family is proud to be partnering with Chris Quisberg and his companies to find a cure that impacts millions of people. We all know someone who’s been impacted by blood cancer. Every dollar raised is one dollar closer to ending cancer,“ said Matt Utecht, President of UFCW Local 653.

“At S & R Quisberg, we are always looking for ways to help people. When UFCW Local 653 came to us with this opportunity to partner with them and the LLS we jumped at the opportunity. I am always amazed at the generosity of our communities when we hold fundraisers, being able to provide an avenue for our customers and employees to give money to such a worthy cause is the least we can do to help,” said Chris Quisberg.

“We are grateful to UFCW Local 653’s President Matt Utecht, Local 653 members, Chris Quisberg, S & R Quisberg, and all the employees who are lending their support,” said Matt Russow, Campaign Manager at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, UFCW Partnership. “As the world’s largest non-profit dedicated to ending blood cancers, LLS is honored to partner with UFCW, with its own powerful network of communities, to have a positive impact on all blood cancer patients and families.”

Every three minutes, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with blood cancer, and every nine minutes someone dies from blood cancer. Today, nearly 1.3 million people in the U.S. are living with, or are in remission from a blood cancer. The funds raised during this campaign will help LLS advance research to find new treatments and cures.

As there are no means of preventing or screening for most blood cancers, LLS is focused on finding cures; the organization is doing more than any other to find cures and help patients access lifesaving treatments.  In its 68 year history, LLS has invested more than $1 billion in research to advance cancer treatments and cures. And the progress made in the blood cancers is helping patients with other cancers and chronic diseases.

Labor Against Cancer will raise much needed funds to advance research and patient support in partnership with LLS while raising awareness of the important role that union members play each and every day.

For more information, please visithttp://www.lls.org/labor-against-cancer.

About The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW)

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. Learn more about the UFCW atwww.ufcw.org.

About The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ® (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Rye Brook, NY, LLS has chapters throughout the United States and Canada. To learn more, visit www.LLS.org. Patients should contact the Information Resource Center at (800) 955-4572, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ###



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Breakfast with Santa sign up now open!






If you’re interested in attending this year’s Breakfast with Santa, you can click here: http://www.ufcw653.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017_Fillable_Brkfst_Santa_form2.pdf

Or you can fill out the registration form in your Fact Finder. Checks can be made payable to UFCW Local 653. We will confirm your registration via email when we receive your registration form and payment. If you do not provide an email address, we will mail a confirmation letter to the address we have on file for you.

Local 653 also partners with United States Marine Corp’s Toys for Tots program. We are accepting new, unwrapped toy donations at this event.

Please call 763-525-1500 for more information.




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UFCW Condemns White House Decision to End DACA

Sept. 5, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union, issued the following statement regarding the Trump Administration’s termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA):

“President Trump’s decision to end DACA is cold-hearted, cruel, and a betrayal of what America stands for.

“Hundreds of thousands of young, hard-working men and women who love America will now be needlessly punished for childhood circumstances. These young people have grown up in this country, passed background checks, pay taxes, go to school, and have worked hard to build a better America. They have earned and deserve fair treatment, but instead their lives are being thrown into chaos with this announcement.

“President Trump’s decision will not make America great again; rather, it will tear families apart, damage communities, and further fuel a terrible divide that is already hurting the nation we all love.

“On behalf of the 1.3 million members of our union family, we urge all Members of Congress to immediately do what is right and protect these Dreamers.”

Click here for an informational letter for locals from UFCW International President Marc Perrone.

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Free College for UFCW Members & Families

Dear UFCW Member:

Every day, we are working hard to provide you—and every single one of our members—with real and powerful benefits that can help bring you the better life you have earned and deserve.  One valuable example of this is the UFCW Free College Benefit.

The UFCW Free College Benefit makes it possible for you and/or your loved ones to earn an Associate Degree online through Eastern Gateway Community College with no out-of-pocket costs or need for loans.  This benefit is available exclusively to UFCW members, retired members, and family of members, including children, spouses, grandchildren, domestic partners, and dependents.  

Best of all, the UFCW Free College Benefit is designed to help you balance work and home life.  You can attend school part-time or full-time – whichever fits your schedule.  All you need to get started is a high school degree or GED, there are no entrance exams to worry about.

Here are some of the available programs you can apply to:

  • Business Management
  • Accounting
  • Paralegal
  • Early Childhood Education

Please click here to visit the UFCW Free College Benefit website to sign up or learn more.

Thank you again for letting the UFCW union family serve and support your goals.

As always, if there is anything we can do to help you, or if you have any ideas about what we can do better, please do not hesitate to let us know.

Sincerely and fraternally,

Matt Utecht, President, UFCW Local 653

Downloadable flyers & FAQs for your workplace!

Free College Flyer

 Frequently Asked Questions for Free College

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