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Wastewater workers in Twin Cities vote to authorize strike

Twin Cities wastewater workers vote to authorize strike
Twin Cities wastewater workers vote to authorize strike 01:35

MINNEAPOLIS — More than 175 workers at nine wastewater treatment plants in the Twin Cities have voted to authorize a strike. 

The move comes after union members overwhelmingly rejected a contract offer from the Metropolitan Council.

The system collects and treats an average of 250 million gallons per day in the nine plants that serve the seven-county metro region. That's water residents use to flush the toilet, take a shower, wash clothes and so much more. 

The union said about 2.7 million people in 111 cities in the Twin Cities metro area rely on the wastewater treatment plants to clean the water. It's not just our homes that would be affected — schools and businesses would be too.

Union members said their jobs were vital during the pandemic as operators continued coming to work, putting themselves and their families at great risk. They also say the decision to reject the latest contract offer and authorize a strike was nearly unanimous. 

The union added the Met Council needs to focus on fairly compensating critical employees who make the entire water infrastructure of the Twin Cities operate.

The earliest workers could strike would be June 27, following a mandatory 10-day cooling off period. Union leaders say they will continue to negotiate with the Met Council during this time. 

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