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Plow Drivers In St. Louis County Reject Contract Offer, Could Walk Off The Job Next Week

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Snow is in the forecast for Duluth, and plow drivers in St. Louis County have rejected their latest contract offer.

It means union drivers may walk off the job as soon as Tuesday.

St. Louis County officials said their last best final offer was fair and reasonable for both employees and taxpayers. But late Saturday afternoon teamsters voted to reject it, 117 to 8.

The vote comes after nearly 12 hours of mediation Friday.

Union workers are upset over rising healthcare costs, paid time off and the ability for drivers to bid their own routes.

County Administrator Kevin Gray said they are disappointed in the outcome.

In a statement, he called it a solid proposal that was fair to employees and consistent with what other bargaining units have overwhelmingly approved.

Erik Skoog, chief negotiator for the Teamsters, said the final offer may appear generous in the short term, but would no longer cover the cost of dental care should the employees elect to switch to a more affordable health insurance plan.

Plow drivers could go on strike as soon as Tuesday, but have not said yet if they plan to do so.


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