ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MN -- Friday was the final mediation session between the Teamsters Local 320 union plow drivers and St. Louis County officials.
St. Louis County plow drivers could strike within the next few days, depending on a vote scheduled for Saturday.
Negotiations between the county and the union plow drivers went on for 11 and half hours Friday.
Last month, Teamsters members voted almost unanimously to authorize a strike if their demands were not met.
The roughly 160 union members are voicing concerns about issues like rising healthcare costs, paid time off, and the ability for drivers to bid their own routes.
The plow drivers' official intent to strike was filed January 2, followed by a 10 day cooling off period, and then Friday's final round of mediations.
The union's Secretary, Brian Aldes, said during the mediation session on Friday that it seemed the ball was rolling in the right direction at the time.
"we're making progress, we've been passing proposals back and forth with the employer, the communication is still open. Our plan is for our members to stay as long as it takes to get the job done," Aldes said.
Aldes says there are 15 members on the union's negotating committee inside the courthouse right now. Talks are being facilitated by the State Bureau of Mediation Services.
The Teamsters Local 320 union plow drivers could strike as early as Tuesday, as their legal right to strike begins January 14th. That right to strike ends on February 3rd.
According to a statement from St. Louis County communications manager, Dana Kazel, a ratification vote on the County's final offer has been scheduled for Saturday, January 11.
Read the full statement from the County about Friday's mediation session here:
"After participating in 11-1/2 hours of mediation today, the County presented its Last Best Final Offer to Teamsters Local 320 for submission to the bargaining unit for a ratification vote. It is the County’s understanding a vote has been scheduled for Saturday January 11 at 3:00 p.m. The County believes the Last Best Final Offer is fair and reasonable for both its employees and taxpayers. Out of respect for the process, we cannot disclose the terms of the proposal at this time. After this proposal is presented to the unit members as part of the ratification vote, more information will become available regarding the proposal."Dana Kazel, Communications Manager