Strike averted at Tivoly

DERBY LINE – 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.“It was a huge turnout with a remarkable win,” 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.“We have quite a lot of work,” Watson said Sunday. “Things are pretty good up there.”Watson said he’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.“I think it’s a good contract,” said Watson. “It’s something we as a bargaining unit can work with.”Everything started at 10 a.m. and was over within a couple of hours. Watson said he wasn’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.“Everything was in place for a strike but it certainly never materialized,” said Watson. He said preparations are needed for a strike. “These things started months in advanced.”