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Red Wing Shoe subsidiary agrees to new 3-year contract

Workers at S.B. Foot Tanning Co., a leather-tanning subsidiary of Red Wing Shoe Co., voted to approve the new contract June 30, after three months of negotiation.

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Workers at S.B. Foot Tanning Co., a leather tanning subsidiary of Red Wing Shoe Co., voted to approve the new contract on June, 30, 2022, after three months of negotiation.
Post Bulletin file photo
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RED WING, Minn. — Union workers at a leather-tanning subsidiary of Red Wing Shoe Co. have approved a new three-year contract.

S.B. Foot Tanning Co. workers in Red Wing voted to approve the new contract on June, 30, 2022, after three months of negotiation.

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The 150-year-old S.B. Foot operates two facilities in Red Wing and provides leather to Red Wing Shoe Co. and other customers.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189 represents 85 employees at S.B. Foot Tanning. The new contract, which is retroactive back to April, was approved by a vote of 54 to 16.

A previous contract proposal was voted down in April.

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“So obviously, the big hindrance were a few factors — wages and health care expenses and whatnot. We did negotiate a health care option that had a high deductible with a HSA (health savings account),” said UFCW Local 1189 Representative Raymond Gandy. “So that's something that we worked on. And I think, ultimately, that really helped.”

Moving workers who have hit their eighth anniversary of working at S.B. Foot from the second tier to first-tier also resulted in additional wage increases for some of the employees.

Founded as the Trout Brook Tannery in 1872 by Silas B. Foot and George Sterling, S.B. Foot has been an employer in Red Wings for 150 years. Foot took over sole ownership in 1897 and re-named it as S.B. Foot & Co.

Red Wing Shoes purchased S.B. Foot in 1986.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in "Heard on the Street." Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com or via Twitter to @whereskiger . You can call him at 507-285-7798.

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Jeff Kiger writes a daily column, "Heard on the Street," in addition to writing articles about local businesses, Mayo Clinic, IBM, Hormel Foods, Crenlo and others. He has worked in Rochester for the Post Bulletin since 1999. Readers can reach Jeff at 507-285-7798 or jkiger@postbulletin.com.
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