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Co-op workers in Minneapolis raise wages through union membership

July 22, 2019 Updated: September 8, 2020

Close-up photo of fresh vegetable in a warehouse

Congratulations to the members of UFCW Local 1189 who work at the Wedge Co-op in Minneapolis on ratifying a new contract that raises wages and improves benefits.

UFCW Local 1189 members at The Wedge Co-op in Minneapolis

The three-year contract, which was ratified by an overwhelming majority of the members, includes a wage scale that adjusts each year of the contract to comply with the new Minneapolis minimum wage increases. The new contract also includes orientation language that allows a steward to spend up to 30 minutes with each new member on paid time to explain the benefits of union membership, as well as successorship and relocation language, which was a top priority for the hardworking men and women of the co-op.

“The wage scale in the contract makes me think of Paul Wellstone and a belief I share with him that ‘we all do better when we all do better,’” said Nathan Coombes, who served as a member of the negotiating committee. “As the Minneapolis minimum wage rises over the three years of our contract, the majority of us see our pay rise, as well. I’m proud of my co-op and this contract.”

Wedge Co-op stresses the importance of democratic control and autonomy as part of their core principles as a cooperatively run business, and the improvements made for workers in the new contract are an example of what can be achieved when workers are empowered by their union membership and have a democratic say in their working conditions.

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