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Associated Press, Published September 12 2013

Union members OK contract with St. Louis County

DULUTH, Minn. — Union workers for St. Louis County have voted to accept the county's latest contract settlement offer.

AFSCME negotiators announced the vote Thursday night. The deal averts a strike by two-thirds of the northeastern Minnesota county's workforce.

Union members voted on the deal at worksites Thursday. The options were to vote yes and ratify the contract, or vote no and reauthorize a strike.

AFSCME Local 66 represents about 1,000 of the county's 1,620 employees. The workers covered by the contract include those who provide public assistance to families, inspect roads and bridges, clean public buildings and perform clerical duties.

Union members had been working under an expired contract since Dec. 31, 2011.

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