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Set to Strike, Seward Co-op Workers Win Tentative Contract Agreement

Plus celebrating a cycling pioneer, the Twin Cities Marathon gets more inclusive, and new shipwreck discovery just dropped in today's Flyover news roundup.

UFCW 663|

Workers celebrating yesterday outside of Seward Community Co-op’s Friendship Store location in south Minneapolis.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Labor Updates: Seward Co-op Workers Celebrate; UAW Strike Comes to MN

The threat of collectively withholding labor amid a contract fight? Still an effective form of leverage! Just ask the roughly 190 Seward Community Co-op workers who, on Tuesday, voted "overwhelmingly" to authorize a strike amid increasingly messy contract negotiations with management. “The community’s really behind us,” a worker told Racket earlier this week. “Especially the owner-members.” That strike never materialized because, on Wednesday, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 663 announced its Seward Community Co-op members had reached a tentative contract agreement with the Twin Cities grocer; as part of the deal, which workers will vote on whether to ratify Monday, UFCW Local 663 agreed to drop unfair labor practice charges it had filed against the company. “We are proud to recommend this tentative agreement to our coworkers," the union's bargaining committee said in a statement. "We are excited to work for this coop and live our values. Coop values are union values, and together we are stronger.”  

Elsewhere in the local labor world: The two-week-old United Auto Workers strike recently expanded into Minnesota and western Wisconsin. (In a historic show of West Wing solidarity, President Joe Biden visited a Michigan picket line Tuesday and told striking workers they deserve a "lot more"; meanwhile, ex-President Donald Trump visited a nonunion auto-parts factory last evening.) Workday Magazine's Amie Stager, who we interviewed this past May, visited the Stellantis-owned Mopar Parts Distribution Center in Plymouth, Minnesota, to hear from our state's striking UAW workers. “A lot of people just accept corporate greed, and feel like there’s nothing we can do about it because we don’t have the money and we’re not as high up,” 31-year-old forklift operator Brandon Lee tells Workday. “But as a whole, we do have enough power to stand up for what we want.”     

Remembering Bill Dooley, a Local Bicycle Trailblazer (and Lane-Blazer)

Do you ride a bicycle in Minneapolis? Do you enjoy the city's many well-maintained trails, and our somewhat less well-maintained but at least existent bike lanes? Well, my friend, you have Bill Dooley to thank. As Fox 9 reports, Dooley was a "key figure" in getting bike infrastructure approved, financed, and built, from the bike lanes along Park and Portland Avenues to downtown Minneapolis and beyond. It's why the Bicycle Safety Act that was passed by the state legislature this year—the one that includes historic funding for Safe Routes to School and lets cyclists take advantage of the Idaho Stop—bears his name. Dooley died last December, but on Saturday the Major Taylor Bicycling Club (of which he was a longtime member) and Hennepin History Museum are teaming up for a ride honoring the bike pioneer. The two-hour ride takes place Saturday, September 30 at 11 a.m. and leaves from the Hennepin History Museum; it's free, but reservations are required.

Nonbinary Runners Are Signing Up for Marathons in Record Numbers

Trans and nonbinary people deal with an increasing amount of bullshit when it comes to playing sports and enjoying fitness. So it’s nice to read something positive about LGBTQ athletes for once: Nonbinary runners are openly participating in marathons in increasing numbers. According to the Twin Cities Marathon, which is this weekend, 52 nonbinary runners are set to participate—the highest numbers yet! The Chicago Marathon saw its number of nonbinary runners triple this year. There's still a long way to go, though. "Not only has the industry as a whole been naïve, they've been purposefully ignorant because myself and other activists have been saying, hey, you are doing nothing, and 20.8% of Gen Z identify as not straight," LGBTQ activist/runner Mikah Meyer tells Bob Timmons at the Strib. "So you are ignoring one-fifth of the largest future market in America."

New Old Shipwreck News!

The best thing about old shipwrecks is you never know when they’re gonna turn up again. Just this month, Minnesota shipwreck-hunters (why didn’t anyone tell us that was a possible career?) located the wreck of the Henry Steinbrenner under 750 feet of Lake Superior water. According to this story from MPR news, the discovery fills in many gaps in our knowledge of what happened to the ship in May 1953, when 17 of the ship’s 31 crewmembers died despite heroic rescue attempts by other ships. “It’s important to remember these wrecks and the people that worked on the ships,” said Ken Merryman, who located the Steinbrenner along with Jerry Eliason. “When we find the wrecks, it’s a way of keeping the memories alive.” This shipwreck was the biggest Steinbrenner disaster of all time before the Yankees traded Fred McGriff to the Blue Jays for Dale Murray in 1982.

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