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Crown Royal workers in Gimli, Manitoba, set to hit the picket line

CROWN ROYAL (whisky) Annual sales, 2011: 44.1 million litres Top markets: U.S., Canada, France

More than 50 members of local 832 of the United Food and Commercial Workers who work at the Crown Royal distillery in Gimli, Man., are expected to be walking the picket line today.

The workers voted 98 per cent on Friday night to reject the final offer from the company, Diageo Canada.

That came after they voted 100 per cent the day before to give the bargaining committee a strike mandate, which became effective at midnight.

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Union president Jeff Traeger said wage increases, vacation time and health and welfare benefits were the sticking points in negotiations.

He said the union's members "go to work every day with the mindset that they are making world's greatest whisky."

He said they believe if the company put the same effort into bargaining, they wouldn't be on strike.

Company officials couldn't be reached for comment.

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