SEIU Members at CRMC Ratify New 3-Year Contract

Crosby, Minn – Following months of negotiations, a one-day ULP strike authorization vote and a tentative agreement reached Oct. 28th, on November 7th members of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center have voted to ratify their new 3-year contract . Three units voted on the contract, with one unit ratifying with over 90% approval and the other two with over 70% approval. 

The bargaining team for SEIU Healthcare Minnesota noted the contract included the best wage increases in years (including back pay at new rates), holiday pay, increased uniform allowances and call pay, full-time benefits for .9 FTE members starting next year, and much more. While not getting everything the team wanted or felt like they deserved, the bargaining committee noted that the solidarity and the willingness to strike helped land the final deal. 

Kathy Meyer, a cook at CRMC for 15 years, Executive Board member of SEIU and member of the bargaining team, shared her feelings on the new contract. 

“SEIU Healthcare Minnesota members are proud of the work we do every single day to make CRMC the quality healthcare facility that it is. We know that as the front line staff of CRMC, our work is what most directly impacts our patients and community, so we are proud that we fought so hard to make sure our work is valued,” said Meyer. “We are proud of what we won, even if it wasn’t everything we wanted and felt we deserved. I am proud of the progress we made and I look forward to continuing the work to ensure CRMC is the best it can be for staff, patients and our whole community.” 

UFCW Local 663 union members vote overwhelmingly to accept a four-year contract

Madelia, MN – United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663 union members who work at Tony Downs Foods in Madelia voted to accept a four-year union contract that provides higher wages, better health benefits, a more secure retirement plan, and worker protections for over 300 workers. Tony Downs Foods is the largest employer in Madelia and produces packaged meat products.

“I’m happy for the raises we were able to get as a union. I’ve worked non-union jobs before and have come back to Tony Downs because it’s a union company that supports the community with good jobs,” said William Castro, a forklift operator who has worked at Tony Downs Foods for 15 years. 

Over the life of the four-year contract, workers will receive a total of a 12 percent increase in base pay and 401(k) contributions combined.

The contract will be active from October 1, 2019-September 30, 2023 and union members will receive retro-active pay from October 1 as well as a sign-on (or ratification) bonus. Other highlights of the contract include:

  • Raises each year of the contract
  • Increases in life insurance benefit
  • A better 401(k) plan–Tony Downs Foods will make a matching contribution based on eligibility and 3-year vesting
  • Improvements in Vacation Scheduling that make it easier for work-life planning

“I love where I live. My family and I have lived here my whole life and raised my family here. I’m going to retire here. I’m glad that I have the option to not only contribute to my 401(k) but that now my employer is going to contribute, making my retirement options even more secure,” said Jose Cruz Molina, who works second shift maintenance at the plant.

UFCW Local 663 President Matt Utecht says of the win:

“I congratulate our UFCW union family in Madelia who worked together and secured a great four-year contract for their co-workers at the plant. We work together and have each other’s backs. We know our rights, we stand up for them together, and get them in writing.”

United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 663 also represents workers in Butterfield, MN at a Tony Downs poultry processing plant, as well as JBS in Worthington, MN.

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