Jim Beam workers end strike, will go back to work Monday

Jim Beam workers vote to accept new contract

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- Its back to work for nearly 250 Jim Beam workers who voted to pass a new contract on Friday, Oct. 21. The employees spent the last week on strike, claiming unfair pay and taking issue with work-life balance.

Jim Beam Worker Dan Ramsey said, "They just kept trying to take and take and take, and then working all the overtime. People just felt like it was time to do something and get change."

Change came in the form of a new contract. Workers said this form of the contract meets their demands and then some.

One of the biggest issues on the previous contract was a two-tier wage system. Now, everyone on the same line, doing the same job will get the same pay.

UFCW Local 111 D Union Vice President Bill Mattingly said, "That’s how it should be. You should be paid the same as anybody else who’s there, doing the same amount of work."

Another issue, workers said, was work-home balance.

Workers said recently it’s been almost non-existent with the distillery running 24 hours a day, seven days week. They said volume needs and staffing issues were forcing many employees to work 6-7, 12-hour shifts a week.

But a promise to fill about 30 new positions has workers convinced the company is re-prioritizing.

"This is our company as well. We work here and now we really feel like we can go forward. Things can move forward with this, and we can have a good atmosphere at work and we can do some good things to get back to being the premiere leader in the spirits industry, where we want to be”, Mattingly said.

The workers said they are also getting a 2 percent raise.

They will return to work on Monday, Oct. 24.
 


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