Teamsters 320 union members who plow snow and maintain grounds at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reached a tentative contract agreement Saturday.
The terms of the agreement weren't released. The union will present the contract to its members for a vote next week. The members who work at the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) could have gone on strike in the next couple of weeks.
"Labor negotiations are never easy, and the past few weeks have been difficult for everyone involved, so I want to thank the Teamsters and MAC staff for their dogged pursuit of an agreement that benefits everyone involved," Metropolitan Airports Commission Chair Rick King said in a news release. "At the end of day, we all share the same goals: fair compensation for employees and unfettered operation of an airport system that creates tens of thousands of jobs and generates billions of dollars every year for the area economy."
King had denounced the intent for strike and said in a previous news release that he was disappointed 94 snowplow drivers "appear willing to disrupt the air transportation system rather than reach a reasonable settlement at the bargaining table." He added they are the best-paid snowplow drivers in the area.
Pay varies by season, according to the release. In 2019, the median gross pay was $103,280 with 48 employees earning more than $100,000. In 2020, the median gross pay was $89,601 with 18 employees making more than $100,000.
Sami Gabriel, president of Teamsters Local 320, said in a news release that "Teamsters Local 320 is proud today that we were able to reach a tentative agreement with the Metropolitan Airports Commission in which our priorities have been addressed. Our members look forward to continuing their exceptional work and partnering with the MAC in making MSP the North Star of all airports."
Union steward John Fredin said "we are pleased that we can continue to serve the public and keep the runways clear and safe for all travel."
In separate negotiations, MAC leaders reached a tentative agreement on Tuesday with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 49, who remove snow around aircraft, according to the release.
Staff writer Alex Chhith contributed to this report.