St. Paul city workers vote to authorize strike

After a long, busy, and difficult winter, public works, parks, sewer and water employees in St. Paul have voted to authorize a strike.

The employees, represented by the Tri-Council of IUOE Local 49, Teamsters 120, and Laborers 363, voted Wednesday night to authorize the strike.

It's important to note an authorization doesn't necessarily mean there will be a strike. Union reps from Local 49 say, if negotiations break down with the city, they could strike as soon as March 20, after a "cool-off" period ends.

Before the authorization vote on Wednesday, FOX 9 asked Mayor Melvin Carter about the looming strike. Carter says he's confident they will be able to get through any impasse.

"We've got a historic winter here," said Carter. "Anybody who didn't know before this winter just how much we rely on our road crews has been able to see it over these last couple of months. We value those employees really greatly. We value all of our city employees really greatly. Obviously, we have limited resources to work with. But I'll tell you we've been able to work with them proactively in the past. I'm really confident we'll be able to resolve all this amicably."