MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Transit union members voted overwhelmingly Monday to approve a new contract, averting a strike during the Super Bowl.

Twenty-five-hundred bus drivers, light rail operators and mechanics had threatened to strike during the Super Bowl in February.

According to union president Mark Lawson, 82 percent of members voted to approve the three-year contract, which will increase wages 2.5 percent a year.

Workers were in talks with Metro Transit for six months. The possibility of a strike during the Super Bowl led to a new compromise.

“We didn’t get everything we wanted and they didn’t get all they wanted, but we made a good compromise,” union president Mark Lawson said.

“We all have bills to pay and bills don’t stop when you are out on strike. So that was the last thing that all of us would want,” Metro Transit driver Michael Coats said.

The new contract also begins to address the union’s concerns for driver safety, starting by installing protective shields in 21 buses.

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