RED WING, Minn. -- The Teamsters at Red Wing Shoe Co. authorized a strike Wednesday, July 16. Local 120 said that its 81 members could walk off the job at any time now that their contract expired at midnight July 15. They remained on the job Thursday,

“Our members have worked tirelessly for this company for years and are now working through the worst pandemic in our lifetimes. They deserve a fair contract. At the vote today our members sent a clear message that they are willing to strike to achieve it,” Local 120 President Tom Erickson said in a news release.

The vote came after negotiations with company management broke down on Tuesday, the union said. They were working under an extended contract. Teamsters said the breakdown is disappointing but they aren't budging.

Red Wing Shoe Co. issued a comment Thursday morning:

“For over 115 years, Red Wing Shoe Company has produced quality, American made footwear for workers around the world. We are proud of our diverse employee base, that includes union representation. Red Wing Shoe Company and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, who represent our warehouse employees in Red Wing, Minnesota, have worked diligently to reach common ground during our routine collective bargaining this summer resulting in what we believe to be a fair contract. Unfortunately, these employees rejected our offer and voted to authorize a strike. While we respect our employees’ right to strike, we look forward to resolving our differences to continue to make Red Wing Shoe Company a great company that makes a difference in people’s lives for decades to come.”

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Red Wing Shoe has 1,173 employees companywide.

This vote did not involve Boot & Shoe Workers Union Local 527, which represents most of the Red Wing Plant 2 factory workers.