This was originally published on Jan. 12.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The union representing about 100 snowplow drivers at several Twin Cities airports, including Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, filed its intent to strike Wednesday.
Teamsters Local 320 President Sami Gabriel had announced in mid-December that negotiations were at an “impasse” with the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) over compensation and severance pay, which she said is less than what other union MAC employees receive.
“Nobody wants a strike, but the significant disparities that exist between union employees at the MAC cannot continue to compound,” Gabriel said in a statement Wednesday.
On Thursday, Gabriel announced that the state mediator has scheduled the next mediation session between the union and MAC on Monday, Jan. 24. She says that’s one day before the union “can legally call a strike.”
MAC Board Chair Rick King said in a statement Wednesday that Teamsters snowplow drivers are already “the best paid” in the area. He called the possible strike “disappointing,” and criticized drivers for being “willing to disrupt the air transportation system rather than reach a reasonable settlement at the bargaining table.”
King said about half of the drivers make more than $100,000 a year, and Teamsters Local 320 reached a deal recently involving St. Paul snowplow drivers that was less than MAC’s offer.
Besides MSP Airport, Teamsters snowplow drivers also work at six other metro-area airports, including Holman Field and Flying Cloud Airport.