Union members accepted Grote Industries' new collective bargaining offer Monday just hours before the current contract was set to expire.

The local 2410 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) chapter held a vote on the contract in the afternoon, ultimately ratifying a three-year deal with the company. The current deal, which was extended during the negotiations, was set to expire at midnight.

Gerald Stone, a union business representative, did not disclose the specifics of the contract, other than acknowledging that it addressed insurance and hourly wage increases.

There are about 230 IAMAW members at Grote's facility in Madison. Grote is headquartered in Madison but has facilities in Toronto; Waterloo, Canada; Monterrey, Mexico and Niederwinkling, Germany. More than 1,000 employees work in every phase of production, from design and engineering to manufacturing, testing, marketing and distribution.

Monday's local vote came with nearly a 100 percent turnout, Stone said, but the union did not release the official yea or nay tally.

 Stone said Grote and union representatives met for three days in October to exchange contract information and begin the negotiations. The company's final offer came on Friday.

If the contract had not been accepted, the IAMAW would have then followed with a vote on whether or not to strike, Stone said.

"I think everyone can breathe a little easier now," he said.

A statement from Grote officials said: "Over the last few months, Grote Industries and representatives of the IAM have been in lengthy and demanding contract negotiations.  Both parties worked tirelessly and diligently to reach a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) which the employees ratified this past Monday. 

"Despite increased demands of global competition and government regulations, the company and the union were pleased to agree on a responsible contract which provides for wage increases for employees, maintains health insurance with only minimal cost increases and enhances benefits for dental, life and accidental death & dismemberment insurances for employees and their families.

"Grote Industries continues to be proud of its employees, who ratified the new contract for another three years.  All parties now look forward to returning their full focus to providing world-class products to their current and future customers around the globe."