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

Plow drivers went on strike last week over pay and benefits.
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Snow plow operators will vote Monday on whether to accept a new contract offer from St. Louis County, after going on strike last week.

The industrial action started last Tuesday, with the drivers represented by Teamsters Local 320 voting to strike over the the rising costs of health insurance – combined with lower coverage – as well as demanding a pay increase commensurate with the rising cost of living.

The strike action came at an inopportune time for the county, as northeastern Minnesota was pummeled by the same winter storm that dumped 4-6 inches of snow in the Twin Cities Friday and Saturday.

St. Louis County said that the replacement plow drivers it had managed to clear 70 percent of roads by the end of Saturday.

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On Monday morning, Teamsters 320 announced it had reached an agreement with the county, which will be voted on by members in Eveleth in the afternoon.

It follows 15 hours of mediation that started on Sunday, with Teamsters 320 saying it has reached an agreement "members can be proud of."

During their strike action, the plow drivers received messages of support from among others Sens. Bernie Sanders, Tina Smith and Amy Klobuchar, 8th District Rep. Pete Stauber, and former VP/Presidential candidate Joe Biden.

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