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Montana News

Mineral County Workers Suspend Strike

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Mineral County Sheriff’s Department staff are back at work and a mediation session is scheduled for next Wednesday. Sixteen employees, including dispatchers, deputies and detention officers, have been on strike since May 30.

The Teamsters Local 2 spokesman Shawn Fontaine says they’re seeking higher wages and contracts that exceed one-year.

"We come in high. They come in low. The deal’s always to be found. It’s somewhere in the middle where both sides can agree."

Fontaine hopes next week’s mediation session will get wrapped up within one day. Until then, he says management and staff will work together and concentrate on their jobs.

"They’re excited for everybody to come back to work. The [union] members are excited to go back to work. While we’re waiting for this process to get underway – for the mediation – we just don’t talk about it. We don’t have conversations with the employers. We don’t negotiate away from the table. It’s just everyone goes back to work and does their job."

If the mediation doesn’t work, Fontaine says the strike could resume.

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