A Cub strike set to begin at 5:30 a.m. Friday ahead of a busy holiday shopping weekend was called off after union leaders reached a historic labor agreement shortly after midnight for 3,000 workers serving 33 Twin Cities stores.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 663 announced it had won a two-year tentative contract, which members must ratify at a meeting set for Tuesday.

The tentative contract calls for raises of $2.50 to $3.50 an hour, to go into effect in stages by spring 2024. Union members had sought raises of up to $4 an hour. At one point before the strike vote, Cub officials had offered raises of 75 cents to $2.75 an hour.

In other gains, some 300 part-time "retail specialists" would win full-time status, while the entire union won the right to establish a "landmark" safety committee.

"The union was able to secure huge wins for the part-time workers who make up the majority of the bargaining unit," UFCW officials said in an early morning announcement.

In a statement, Cub officials said the agreement "will provide Minneapolis and west metro area Cub team members with a historic wage increase and continued comprehensive health and welfare and retirement benefits as requested by the union."

Cub officials added they care "greatly" for team members "and are pleased that our stores will be open and ready to serve our customers and communities throughout the holiday weekend."

The agreement not only prevents a strike during a traditionally busy weekend, but ends weeks of contentious wrangling between the parties.

Union members, who have worked without a contract since their labor agreement expired March 4, voted Tuesday to authorize a strike that would have occurred when customers would be buying Easter hams and other staples for family get-togethers.

Union members insisted they had sacrificed much to keep the stores humming during the pandemic that subjected employees to difficult working conditions and illness. It also prevented them from seeing vulnerable loved ones. Some members noted any hero pay they had received in spurts ended long ago.

Last week, the union also filed a grievance with the National Labor Relations Board claiming unfair working conditions in which Cub targeted workers with interrogations, threats and other "coercive actions."

Cub officials denied the allegations and questioned if the filing was a tactic designed to prevent management from calling in permanent replacements.

Cub — which Rhode Island-based wholesale specialist United Natural Foods Inc. bought in 2018 as part of the SuperValu acquisition — owns 33 stores in the Twin Cities area. There are many more stores operated by franchise owners.

The franchise stores are not part of the union agreement and were not subject to a strike.

The 33 stores targeted are mostly suburban, including locations in St. Louis Park, Bloomington, Blaine, Lakeville, Maple Grove, Eagan and Fridley. Cub stores in Uptown and near Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis were also on the list.