MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - Union airport operating engineers from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport voted on Wednesday to authorize a strike if negotiations with the Metropolitan Airports Commission break down next month.
Local 49 officials said the vote to authorize the strike was "nearly unanimous."
The union will meet with MAC in early January to continue negotiations, and members could go on strike as early as Jan. 25 if negotiations collapse or a final contract offer is rejected.
Local 49 said that last year, when the airport was financially struggling, members accepted a year-long pay freeze. However, the airport commission refutes that, saying the union took a 3% increase.
"Now, as the economy recovers, air travel has increased, and the federal government has bailed out the airports, management is unwilling to step up and give these frontline workers the respect of a decent pay increase they deserve," Local 49 officials said.
Last week, union plow drivers and maintenance workers for airports around the metro voted to strike, after their union was not offered the same raises or severance pay as other negotiating groups. The earliest those workers could go on strike is Jan. 20.
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