DERBY LINE â€“ Union workers at Tivoly ratified a new contract Saturday at a vote held at the American Legion Newport Post #21. Workers voted to accept the contract 109 to 3 with 130 eligible voting members.
â€śIt was a huge turnout with a remarkable win,â€ť said Wally Watson, president of Local 1829, which is part of District IV. The organization belongs to the International Association of Machinists.
The contract clarified some seniority language, brought an increase of life insurance benefits, better sickness and accident insurance, and a better health plan. The contract also has a 3.5 percent raise a year for the next three years.
Each union employee will have to perform 45 hours a year of mandated overtime. More overtime will be available for those who wish to accept it.
â€śWe have quite a lot of work,â€ť Watson said Sunday. â€śThings are pretty good up there.â€ť
Watson said heâ€™s pleased with the outcome. He said it was a stressful time but he feels the union did a good job. However, there were some trying moments when he thought the union might not be able to come to an agreement on some of the issues.
â€śI think itâ€™s a good contract,â€ť said Watson. â€śItâ€™s something we as a bargaining unit can work with.â€ť
Everything started at 10 a.m. and was over within a couple of hours.
Watson said he wasnâ€™t surprised with the outcome but would have said something different a week ago. He said things between the union and the company were tough for a period. However, that all changed toward the end of the week.
â€śEverything was in place for a strike but it certainly never materialized,â€ť said Watson. He said preparations are needed for a strike. â€śThese things started months in advanced.â€ť