The Cub grocery store in Brooklyn Center, pictured on Wednesday, April 5, 2023. Credit: Alfonzo Galvan | Sahan Journal

Cub grocery store workers in the Twin Cities voted Tuesday to approve a new union contract after nearly going on strike last week.

The vote took place at 12 locations around the Western Metro, and UFCW Local 663 members counted and tallied votes after polls closed at 5 p.m., according to a news release from the union.

The contract was “overwhelmingly” approved by members of UFCW Local 663, and includes average raises of $2.50 to $3.50 an hour by the spring of 2024, and the creation of a landmark safety committee. 

“Raises are even bigger for more than 300 retail specialists like me, who will be converted to classified assistants,” Sami Moll, a bargaining committee member who works at the Chanhassen Cub deli, said in the news release. “Some of us will be making $5 to $8 more an hour by this time next year, which is phenomenal.”

“This year’s contract campaign was like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Dave Mueller, who works in produce at the Uptown store, said in the release. “I’ve been on the bargaining committee six times, and we’re so much more powerful than we ever were before. This was the most encompassing rank and file experience I’ve ever had the privilege to be a part of.” 

Three-thousand workers at 33 corporate-owned Cub stores in the Twin Cities metro area had been working without a contract, which expired on March 4. Last week, 94.5 percent of voting members authorized their bargaining committee to call for an Unfair Labor Practices strike.

Union members had planned to strike on April 7 and 8 before the new contract was reached last Friday.

Cub, formerly known as Cub Foods, is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Natural Foods, Inc. (UNFI) with the majority of its stores in Minnesota and at least one in Illinois, according to the company’s website. Corporate representatives did not return messages seeking comment.

The union was able to secure the contract for part-time workers who make up the majority of the bargaining unit. In addition, a significant portion of the bargaining unit—300 people who are currently classified as retail specialists but will now be converted to classified assistants—were able to win full-time positions, according to the union.

The union has listed the following 33 Cub locations as the corporate-owned stores with the expired contract (other Cub locations are owned by franchisees): 

  • Apple Valley
  • Blaine North
  • Blaine South-
  • Blaine West
  • Bloomington Lyndale
  • Brooklyn Park North
  • Brooklyn Park South
  • Burnsville Heart of the City
  • Burnsville South
  • Champlin
  • Chanhassen
  • Coon Rapids South
  • Crystal
  • Eagan East
  • Eagan North
  • Eagan West
  • Fridley
  • Lakeville North
  • Lakeville South
  • Lakeville West
  • Maple Grove
  • Minnehaha
  • Monticello
  • New Brighton
  • Northside
  • Plymouth (Vicksburg Ln. N.)
  • Plymouth Rockford Road
  • Rosemount
  • Savage
  • Shorewood
  • St. Anthony
  • St. Louis Park
  • Uptown

Alfonzo Galvan is a reporter for Sahan Journal, covering work, labor, small business, and entrepreneurship. Before joining Sahan Journal, he covered breaking news and immigrant communities in South Dakota,...