The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), Local 1473 announced Nov. 1 that union members employed at the Viroqua Food Cooperative (VFC) ratified their first labor agreement on Oct. 23.

According to a press release from UFCW Local 1473, the agreement provides a structure for members’ working conditions and also provides wage increases and affordable health insurance.

“These new members showed incredible solidarity and strength over the last year; it is not an easy process to organize nor to reach a first labor agreement,” John Eiden, UFCW Local 1473 president and international vice president, said in the release. “I am proud to welcome the backbone of the VFC to our union family. Union members are proud to continue to give quality service to the loyal customers of the VFC.”

Jan Rasikas, VFC general manager, said the co-op wants “to acknowledge the great amount of effort and participation to all those who assisted in the negotiation process.”

“We are pleased to report for the initial union contract, we were able to maintain our current wages and benefits package,” Rasikas said. “Rest assured our customers’ and employees’ experience will remain at the high standard you have come to know and expect. We can all look forward to the exciting future of the Viroqua Food Cooperative,”

The collective bargaining agreement expires Dec. 31, 2020.

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Angie Cina is editor of the Vernon County Broadcaster. Contact her at 608-637-5616.

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