MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of Metro Transit workers have been authorized to strike after two days of negotiations and votes failed Wednesday.

Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1005 President Ryan Timlin says the Metropolitan Council, which runs Metro Transit, “put a crappy offer on the table and walked away,” calling it their “final offer.”

The union, which represents more than 2,350 Metro Transit workers, says 94% of their voting members rejected the council’s latest offer.

The union says management refuses to hold meaningful negotiations. The president of the union says workers also want more COVID-19 protection and hazard pay.

Met Council says their offer includes a one-time payment of about $1,500, or a 2.5 % raise.

The Metropolitan Council sent WCCO a statement that said, in part, “Metro Transit has provided a reasonable and responsible offer that balances the unprecedented fiscal pressures facing Metro Transit, with the value we place on our employees during this pandemic. We are committed to providing a contract proposal that is both fair and responsible.”

Timlin responded back, arguing “our members working through COVID are some of the most exposed out of all workers.”

Timlin said that his union’s members “deserve more than the way they’ve been treated.”

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