Public works employees, including plow drivers, authorize strike in St. Louis County

The strike would include around 180 employees.
Author:
Publish date:

Plow drivers are among nearly 200 public works employees in St. Louis County threatening a work stoppage if healthcare increases aren't provided in the very near future. 

St. Louis County Teamsters (Local 320) voted Sunday 112-1 in favor to authorize a strike after the current labor contract expires Dec. 31. In a release, Teamsters Local 320 said around 180 county workers will strike at a to-be-determined time and date if the county's healthcare benefits aren't enhanced. 

The majority of the employees ready to strike work as plow operators, mechanics, bridge workers, parts specialists, sign technicians and building maintenance. The release explains Teamsters demands: 

"The strike vote is the result of St. Louis County’s healthcare inequality for employees of the Public Works Department who are provided less coverage and forced to pay 31 percent more than management and non-union employees. Furthermore, Teamsters are demanding a restoration of their seniority rights formerly rescinded through arbitration. An increase in the cost of living is also a major concern for Teamsters."

Erik Skoog, the lead negotiator for the group, says St. Louis County has been "combative" and ignored their requests. 

If further negotiations don't lead to a deal, the strike could be in place when a winter storm hits. In such a scenario, county plow operators would not be clearing roads. 

That said, a county spokesperson tells the Star Tribune that there is optimism about an agreement being made before a work stoppage ensues. 

St. Louis County is Minnesota's largest county by area.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING WEATHER newsletters

Next Up

Taylor Rogers

Twins Rumors: Taylor Rogers could draw interest despite injury

The left-hander was placed on the injured list on Tuesday.

E7WFMKZUcAIbzNf

Severe storm watch: Apple-sized hail, 75 mph winds possible

A watch has been issued by the National Weather Service.

Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 7.28.06 PM

Slain Red Lake officer identified as husband, father-of-four

Police say he was shot while responding to a report of a suicidal male who possibly had children the house.

Go Fund Me - Adam Richard Johnson

Remains in Mississippi mark 4th discovery of man's dismembered body parts

Officials on Tuesday confirmed the remains found July 4 are those of Adam Johnson.

Facebook - GoGo dog stolen vehicle -  St. Paul Police Department

Missing dog GoGo found dead in owner's stolen vehicle 3 days later

The vehicle was reported stolen with GoGo inside on July 18

Flickr - face masks covid pole - Ivan Radic

The 14 MN counties with 'substantial or high' COVID-19 transmission

The CDC says everyone in these areas should wear a mask in indoor public places.

Pexels - woman grocery shopping mask covi

CDC: Masks recommended in places with 'substantial or high' transmission

This new guidance applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status.

Screen Shot 2021-07-27 at 1.10.29 PM

WATCH: Vikings Live with Matthew Coller: Welcome to training camp

Vikings Live with Matthew Coller is a new Vikings show that streams Tuesdays.

YouTube - Minnesota DNR - watering tree

Tips for watering trees during severe drought, sprinkler restrictions

How can you keep your valued trees healthy? Just follow these simple steps.

police tape, crime scene

Minnesota saw record number of murders in 2020, BCA says

The BCA released its annual Uniform Crime Report on Tuesday.

Flickr - Red Lake Nation sign - Ken Lund

Red Lake police officer fatally shot on Tuesday

The officer was reportedly shot near Redby.

Related

plow, snow

St. Louis County snow plow drivers to move ahead with strike

Teamsters Local 320 has filed a motion to strike.

Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 9.24.51 AM

St. Louis County, Teamsters agree new contract for snow plow operators

Plow drivers went on strike last week over pay and benefits.

Port of Duluth-Superior

St. Louis County delays refugee resettlement vote

Only one refugee has been placed in the county since 2011.

St. Paul teacher strike

How a St. Paul teacher strike will impact students, families

If a strike happens, all pre-K through 12th-grade classes will be cancelled.

St. Paul Federation of Educators

36,000 students out of school as teacher strike begins in St. Paul

A strike begins immediately after failed negotiations reached a deadline.

Enbridge Line 3

7 arrested in Line 3 pipeline protest in St. Louis County

The protests were the latest in a series of demonstrations against the pipeline.