Striking snowplow drivers, St. Louis County reach agreement

Teamsters Local 320 members picketing.
Falling snow covered Teamsters Local 320 members as they picketed in front of the St. Louis County garage in Virginia, Minn., last week. On Monday, snowplow drivers ratified a new tentative contract with the county, bringing an end to a six-day strike.
Mark Sauer via the Mesabi Daily News file

Updated: 6:47 p.m.

Snowplow drivers in St. Louis County have ratified a new tentative contract, bringing an end to a six-day strike.

Teamsters Local 320 said in a Facebook post that the agreement secured wage and benefit increases, including additional sick leave accruals.

In a news release, the county said the 168 employees who are Teamster members are expected to return to work Tuesday. The agreement must still go through a legal review and a ratification vote by the St. Louis County board.

"We are thankful to have reached this agreement and to welcome our employees back to work," Kevin Gray, St. Louis County administrator, said in a statement. "Both sides worked very hard to get to this point. This has been a challenging time for all of us. We have always recognized the hard work and important contributions of these employees, and our focus now is to move forward again as a team."

During the strike, Public Works supervisors and other licensed and qualified staff from other divisions and departments operated the plows.

St. Louis County spokesperson Dana Kazel said the replacements had 70 percent of the roads plowed by the time they finished on Saturday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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