UPDATE: Diageo Workers Ratify New Contract

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Close to 190 employees at the Diageo bottling plant in Amherstburg have a new contract.

Unifor Local 200 and the company reached a tentative deal Saturday and workers ratified the contract Sunday morning. Plant Chairperson DJ Lacey says 84 per cent of production workers and 95 per cent of trades voted to pass the three-year deal.

He tells CTV Windsor the contract includes a 2 per cent and 3 per cent raise over the life of the pact along with lump sum payments, but fine tuning overtime language in the agreement was the biggest challenge. 

"When you're dealing with so many scenarios, to sit down and actually get a process that's going to work for everybody, it takes a lot of time," he says. "I can assure you that our bargaining committee wracked their heads over that for almost 13-hours to try and get there."

Lacey says both sides showed a willingness to find middle ground and keep production going.

"They need a product and we're the ones are going to make that happen for them. It's very encouraging to see this go on before we start the holidays. The members have a new three-year collective agreement and that's important," he added.

The contract shows a commitment to the Amherstburg, according to Lacey.

"Really secures us for future growth at the Amherstburg facility. When you look around the community, there are a lot of places that are going in the opposite direction. One things is for sure, that we're trying to maintain and grow in the community," Lacey says.

Employees had voted 100 per cent in favour of strike action if a deal wasn't reached by Dec, 2.

— with files from AM800's Gord Bacon and CTV Windsor's Ricardo Veneza.