Cub employees will strike Friday and Saturday at 33 Twin Cities stores

For the first time, Cub union employees will strike Friday and Saturday at 33 Twin Cities stores as they seek higher wages to compensate for front-line efforts during the pandemic.

“We want to be paid for what we’ve been through the last five years,” said Jill Craig, during a news conference Wednesday outside the Maple Grove store on N. Wedgewood Lane where she works.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663 announced Tuesday night that nearly 95 percent of the vote was in favor of a strike. In recent years, employees have experienced mandatory masking, separation from medically vulnerable relatives and fear during the unrest following the police killing of George Floyd.

Union officials said they are seeking a $4 an hour wage increase spread over two years against the $2.75 offered by Cub. The trade union also wants to avoid what it called a regressive increase structure where part-time employees ̵[ads1]1; the majority – will only get raises after 140 weeks of service.

In a statement Tuesday, a spokesman said the Cubs proposed historic pay increases and agreed to ongoing health and pension plans. They stemmed from terms the union specifically asked for during negotiations covering the 33 stores, he said.

“We are deeply disappointed that the union chose to spend today taking a strike authorization vote instead of using that time to meet with us to agree on terms for a new contract,” said Mike Wilken, a Cubs spokesman parent company United Natural Foods, Inc.

Cub is prepared to implement contingency plans to ensure continued availability of products and services during the strike, Wilken said.

Local 663 members represent more than 3,000 grocery store workers at Cub stores that Providence, RI-based United Natural Foods, Inc., owns. The union and the Cubs have been working without a contract since March 4, and the next bargaining session between both sides is set for April 11, the union said.

United Natural Foods, a wholesale specialist that bought Cub’s parent, Supervalu, in 2018 wanted to sell Supervalu’s retail division, but later decided to keep Cub. The leading Twin Cities grocer got a boost during the pandemic when buying groceries and cooking at home became even more necessary.

Meanwhile, Mike Stigers, Cub CEO since 2019, is leaving to become president of New Jersey-based Wakefern, the nation’s largest dealer-owned cooperative. His last day is May 31. The Cubs have yet to name their next CEO.

Cub has a total of 79 stores (corporate and franchise) in Minnesota and one store in Freeport, IL.

The stores where employees will strike:

Apple Valley: 15350 Cedar Ave., Apple Valley

Blaine North: 12595 NE Central Ave., Blaine

Blaine South: 585 NE Northtown Drive, Blaine

Blaine West: 10881 NE University Ave., Blaine

Bloomington Lyndale: 8421 S. Lyndale Ave., Bloomington

Brooklyn Park North: 9655 N. Colorado Lane, Brooklyn Park

Brooklyn Park South: 7555 W. Broadway Ave., Brooklyn Park

Burnsville Heart of the City: 300 E. Travelers Trail, Burnsville

Burnsville South: 1750 W. County Road 42, Burnsville

Champlin: 8600 N. 114th Ave., Champlin

Chanhassen: 7900 Market Blvd., Chanhassen

Coon Rapids South: 2050 NW Northdale Blvd., Coon Rapids

Crystal: 5301 N. 36th Ave., Crystal

Eagan East: 1020 Diffley Road, Eagan

Eagan North: 1276 Town Center Drive, Eagan

Eagan West: 1940 Cliff Lake Road, Eagan

Fridley: 250 NE 57th Ave., Fridley

Lakeville North: 7435 W. 179th St., Lakeville

Lakeville South: 20250 Heritage Drive, Lakeville

Lakeville West: 17756 Kenwood Trail, Lakeville

Maple Grove: 8150 N. Wedgewood Lane, Maple Grove

Minnehaha: 4601 Snelling Ave., Minneapolis

Monticello: 216 W. Seventh St., Monticello

New Brighton: 2600 Rice Creek Road, New Brighton

Northside: 701 W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis

Plymouth: 3550 N. Vicksburg Lane, Plymouth

Plymouth Rockford Road: 4445 N. Nathan Lane, Plymouth

Rosemount: 3784 W. 150th St., Rosemount

Savage: 14075 State Hwy 13, Savage

Shorewood: 23800 MN-7, Shorewood

St. Anthony: 3930 NE Silver Lake Road, St. Anthony

St. Louis Park West End: 5370 W. 16th St., St. Louis Park

Uptown: 1104 Lagoon Ave., Minneapolis

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