St. Louis County Snowplow Drivers Go on Strike Wednesday
The union said workers are prepared to strike until the county meets their demands.
DULUTH, Minn. (FOX 9)–Snowplow drivers in St. Louis County are going on strike Wednesday morning—the same day the area is expecting to receive several inches of snow.
The union, Teamsters Local 320, represents the snowplow drivers. In a statement, the union said the strike will “affect every Public Works Department in St. Louis County.”
“I hope we get a ton of snow,” said Brian Aldes, the secretary treasurer of Teamster Local 230. “I hope the employer, the county thinks about that and brings all of us back to the table, start talking about how we’re going to go back to work.”
Pickets will be at each Public Works Department location and mobile pickets will follow Public Works vehicles if they are deployed without Teamster drivers, the union said.
Union members are moving forward with the strike after rejecting a deal from the county on Saturday. The union said the main sticking points are the accrual of vacation and sick time as well as dental insurance.
“These hardworking employees make a daily commitment to drive into blizzard conditions when most folks avoid inclement weather,” Erik Skoog, Teamsters Local 320 recording secretary and chief negotiator, said in a statement. “These employees spend nights, holidays and weekends clearing roads in dangerous conditions and will not continue to be second-class employees.”
The union plans to keep lines of communication open with state mediators should the county request additional mediation, but said workers are prepared to strike until the county meets their demands.