Local 49 statement on St. Paul strike authorization

MARCH 9, 2023 — Yesterday, our Tri-Council workers (Operating Engineers Local 49, Teamsters Local 120 and Laborers Local 363) voted to authorize a strike. The vote was unanimous, with well over 100 St. Paul employees attending.

This vote sends a clear message to the mayor of St. Paul: Your workers see you on social media and elsewhere touting the critical role they play in maintaining the city. What they have not seen in your tenure is a budget that matches your rhetoric. They are fed up.

St. Paul public works, regional water services and parks and recreation workers are among the lowest paid in their fields in the metro area. Local 49 represents workers in similar positions at hundreds of cities and counties around the state of Minnesota. The most recent St. Paul contract, which is now expired, provided the lowest increases of any group we represent, yet St. Paul workers had to threaten a strike last time to get that meager offer.

“Mayor Carter, your critical frontline workers are underpaid,” Local 49 Business Manager Jason George said. “They hear you applaud their work, now they need to see you pay them what they are worth and what they have earned. A budget is about priorities — you need to show these workers they are a priority.

“The ball is in your court Mr. Mayor. If you support working class people, now is your time to show it. The clock is ticking.”