MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - On Sunday afternoon, more than 80 maintenance workers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and other reliever airports in the metro, like Flying Cloud and Holman Field, voted to approve a strike.
The negotiations between Teamsters Local 320 union members and the Metropolitan Airports Commission have been ongoing over the last 2 to 3 months. The group of workers is responsible for maintaining airport runways, clearing snow, and repairing security fences.
95% of the airport maintenance workers voted to approve the strike, demanding higher wages and equal severance with other MAC employee union groups. If a strike does occur, it's unclear who would step in to help since the machinery and trucks that are used at the airport required specialized training to operate.
"Who is going to make those runways safe? Who is going to be responsible for making sure that everything stays on time? I don't know how that happens without our folks taking care of the runways," said Brian Aldes, the secretary treasurer and principal officer of Teamsters Local 320.
The Metropolitan Airports Commission sent Fox 9 the following statement in response to the strike authorization:
The MAC continues to negotiate in good faith with Teamsters Local 320, and we are confident we can come to an agreement. We look forward to continuing our discussions when mediation begins on December 28.
If the two parties do not reach an agreement, the earliest a strike could happen under state law is January 20, 2022.