Why Union?

Workers Need Fair Treatment Today as Much as Ever

Employers are trying to shed responsibility for providing health insurance, good pension coverage, reasonable work hours and job safety protections. Additionally, companies are making workers' jobs and incomes less secure through downsizing, part-timing, contracting out, and sending jobs off-shore.

As the nature of work changes, working people need the collective voice and bargaining power unions provide to keep employers from making the workplace look as it did in the early nineteenth century.

The working men and women of the UFCW are that voice.

UFCW members work in a number of different industries in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada but are concentrated in grocery stores, meatpacking and poultry plants, food processing and manufacturing plants, and retail stores.

Unions are making a difference.

With most of the economic benefits of our economy going to corporate America, working people are using the power of collective action to get their fair share.

Every worker deserves affordable health insurance, prescription drug coverage, living wages, safe working conditions, equal opportunity, a secure pension and a voice in the workplace.

UFCW Local 653 represents over 10,000+ members in the Minneapolis and surrounding areas.

Workers never got anything without uniting for it!

  • The 40-hour workweek
  • The 8-hour workday
  • Overtime
  • Sick leave
  • Paid vacation
  • Company-paid health insurance
  • Pensions
  • Safety and health protections
  • Grievance procedure for violation of worker rights
  • Fairness in promotions and assignments
  • Higher wages and fair treatment on the job
  • Right to respect from managers

Union Benefits

When workers stick together as a union, they have bargaining power and a collective voice that they simply do not have when they are not unionized. Being a member of a union not only gives you a better position to get better wages, benefits and working conditions, you also get job security.

Non-union workers have limited rights and can be fired “at-will” for no reason – just because your boss is having a bad day and decides he/she doesn’t want you around anymore. Non-union workers also find that the rules can change at the whim of the employer.

  • One day you have paid holidays and vacations and next week you don’t
  • A raise is promised but never given
  • You’ve got too many hours one week but the next you’re not making enough to get by

With a union contract, everything is spelled out in black and white, as decided upon between the workers’ negotiating committee and the employer during bargaining, and the rules don’t change until workers renegotiate. For instance, raises are guaranteed, holidays, vacations, hours, etc. can all be defined by the contract.

In addition, discipline and firing isn’t at the whim of the employer for union members. There are certain rules the boss has to go through, a series of steps, to show that they have just cause for discipline or firing you. Throughout this time, a union representative will be working on your behalf to represent you and make sure you get a fair deal and your rights are protected.

Getting A Union (Becoming A Union)

The first step is to form a committee among the workers with representatives from each department and shift. The committee’s job is to attend meetings and educate themselves about the Union. Then they can educate their co-workers and help dispel false information spread by management.

Next, the majority of the employees must sign cards stating they want to have a Union in their workplace. After a majority of workers have signed up, the Union can ask the employer to recognize the Union or file a petition for an election with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

When the Union files for an election, then the employees have a chance to vote for the Union in a secret ballot election conducted by the government. If the Union wins a majority of votes, and the employer does not challenge the vote on legal grounds, then the Union can begin the process of negotiating a collective bargaining agreement (contract).

Collective Bargaining

Collective bargaining takes place between two groups – one composed of the negotiating committee and your union representative and the other composed of representatives from management.

Usually after each collective bargaining session, the contract is returned to you and your fellow workers for discussion. Once the negotiating committee agrees that they have a good contract, they will bring it to their fellow co-workers for a final decision. Should the workers reject the contract, it will go back to the bargaining table for further negotiations until a contract is agreed upon. However, if a majority of employees approves the contract, the contract then goes into effect.

Just think of what you and your co-workers may be able to win if you had a union contract!


Contact UFCW Local 653!

If you are unable to call during regular business hours, please feel free to contact by filling out the form below.

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UFCW Local 653 News

UFCW Local 653, Supervalu, & Jerry’s Enterprises deliver truckload of food and supplies to tornado stricken JBS Swift plant workers in Marshalltown, Iowa

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, August 2, 2018 Contact: Jessica Hayssen 651-261-8559 … [+]

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UFCW Local 653 Statement on Supervalu sale

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, July 26, 2018 Contact: Jessica Hayssen 651-261-8559 j… [+]

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Local 653 & Local 1161 are Stronger Together

Below you will find the introductory merger letter that was sent to all UFCW Local 65… [+]

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