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St. Louis County Addresses Alleged Treatment of Supervisors

Emily Ness
Updated: January 17, 2020 10:33 PM

St. Louis County held a press conference Friday afternoon to address the poor treatment Teamsters supervisors have alleged they've received from strikers and members of the community.

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"I'm appealing to everybody right now to say just give the supervisors the respect they deserve. They're struggling. They're working long hours and they're doing a phenomenal job. It's a struggle for them. They're as conflicted as anybody in this," Brian Boder, Deputy Public Works Director for Maintenance Operations said.

According to Boder, supervisors say they have been looked at and treated differently on and off work sites as the strike has ensued.

“As you're going by, it's a lot of middle fingers, single finger salutes, four letter words. It's not physical threats. I am aware of somebody that got a voice mail with a ticking time bomb, but again, its not needed, it's not warranted. These guys are just trying to do their job,” Boder said.

Boder said this treatment could be because misconceptions surround whether these supervisors are employees that have been brought in to help out in the midst of the strike, or employees that have been around for years.

“These are not scab employees. These are not hired temporaries. These are our supervisors who have been with us for years and years and years,” Boder said, “They deserve the respect from the public. They’ve been in plow seats, they’ve driven, they’ve got many miles behind them that gives them credentials and the problem is that there is a lot of misinformation.”

The Teamsters maintain that they've been respectful as the strike has gone on.

“We are respectful, we follow the law and we're courteous. You have to remember that what the local union's membership does is serve the public for a living so that's our main priority,” Brian Aldes, Principal Officer and Secretary Treasurers for the Teamsters said.

Aldes addressed the county's comments about tension.

"I don't know that things are getting intense. We're out on the picket line making sure that the public knows that we're here, we're on strike and we're going to continue to be on strike until the county is willing to sit down and negotiate a fair deal," Aldes said.

Aldes also spoke about the impact this weekend's storm has on the situation.

“We understand that there is a big snow event coming and that weighs heavy on the hearts of the public works workers standing out on the picket line because as I mentioned earlier, they want to be out there serving the public. They want to make sure that the roads and the bridges are safe for travel.”

Both parties say they hope to come to a resolution soon, as the strike enters its fourth day Saturday. 

Credits

Emily Ness

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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