Crown Royal workers go on strike

Crown Royal workers picket in front of the factory where the whisky is made. Adrian Cheung/Global News

GIMLI — Workers are walking the picket lines today outside of the Crown Royal distillery plant.

UFCW Local 832 members and Diageo Canada, the company that runs the plant, have failed to reach a new agreement.

Fifty-three workers are currently on strike. They are asking for changes to wage increases, vacation time and health benefits.

“Our members go to work everyday with the mindset that they are making the world’s greatest whisky,” said Jeff Traeger, president of UFCW Local 832.

“The membership believes that if the company put the same effort into this round of bargaining we wouldn’t be on strike.”

Crown Royal’s Northern Harvest Rye might be the most difficult bottle to buy in Canada after it was named 2016 World Whisky of the Year.

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In an email to Global News, a spokesperson for Diageo wrote they’re disappointed with the union’s decision to strike but continued “…We do not expect the work stoppage to affect our ability to supply Crown Royal Canadian whisky to the market.”

If the strike is not resolved in 60 days, both sides can apply to the Manitoba Labour Board to have a new contract imposed.

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