Workers press for union at three Seward Co-op facilities in Minneapolis

On Wednesday, workers staged a demonstration and presented cards asking for a union election to the Minneapolis office of the National Labor Relations Board.

The union, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 653, said Thursday that more than 75 percent of 290 union-eligible employees had signed the cards. The NLRB confirmed that the union met the 30 percent federal minimum needed to hold an election.

About 20 union supporters met Thursday with Nick Seeberger, operations manager for all three locations.

Cashier Bea Cooper, 23, read a statement saying 223 workers had signed union cards and accusing Seward managers of “unequal and unfair application of discipline, discrimination and harassment in the workplace” and “intimidation through various means, including one-on-one meetings.”

Amy Swenson, 41, who works on samples offered at the stores, said in an interview that since she began the organizing effort, she has been disciplined several times. She said that hasn’t deterred her.

“It’s made me more fired up,” she said.

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