Striking heavy equipment operators in Essex and Kent Counties have voted to accept a new four-year contract settlement with the Heavy Construction Association of Windsor.

The operators, represented by Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, went on strike May 28, 2012.

They voted overwhelmingly in favour of the contract at a ratification meeting on June 6 at the Serbian Centre on Tecumseh Road in Windsor. Two hundred operators attended the meeting.

The operators had been working without a contract since April 30, 2012.

The employers had sought to extend the regular work week for operators doing certain sewer and watermain work and all general excavation work from the current 50 hours before overtime is paid to 55 hours before overtime provisions kick in. In the contract that was ratified, there are no changes to the existing language on the issue of hours of work and overtime.

The new contract will expire April 30, 2016.

Local 793 business manager Mike Gallagher said operators are expected to begin returning to work June 7.

Click here for story on the ratification vote that appeared in The Windsor Star.