Teamsters Union Rejects Final Contract Offer from St. Louis County
Potential strike could happen as early as January 14th
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Minn. – The Teamsters Local 320 has rejected St. Louis County’s latest contract offer, moving them closer to a potential strike.
Nearly 180 county public works employees are represented by the union, including plow operators, mechanics, bridge crew members, and maintenance workers.
“We are disappointed in the outcome of today’s vote rejecting this Last Best Final Offer,” said County Administrator Kevin Gray. “It was a solid proposal that was fair to our employees, is consistent with what other bargaining units have overwhelmingly approved, and respectful of the final impact on our taxpayers.”
Gray also told Fox 21, “I’m hopeful that because that they won’t be put in a position by their leadership to have to be on a picket line instead of being behind a plow and I think that’s our hope it’s in their court at this time.”
He added that in their proposed three-year contract offer for 2020-2022 most employees would have received wage increases of 10.5% to 12.5% over the three year period.
The Teamsters Local 320 released a statement saying that St. Louis County failed to address issues concerning sick and vacation leave and that other county employees have a higher accrual limit to the benefits.
The Teamsters had previously filed an intent to strike. Union officials say they are looking for higher wages, more health insurance options, and for all employees to have the same benefit accrual system.
A strike could happen as early as Tuesday, January 14th. Union members could choose to strike anytime in a twenty day period starting on that day.
If the public works employees choose to strike, plowing operations would be handled by supervisors and other county employees who have been trained to operate plows.
A representative for the Teamsters Local 320 will be speaking to Fox 21 on Sunday.
You can find the county’s press release here.
And the Teamsters press release here.