Why the Jim Beam Strike Matters Nationally

Labor News

Ed Lavely, left, a general helper who has been with Jim Beam for 28 years, holds a picket sign in front of the company's facility in Clermont on Tuesday morning. October 18, 2016 By Michael Clevenger, CJ

Reprinted from USA Today/Courier-Journal by Bailey Loosemore on October 18, 2016.

Workers from the famed bourbon producers share what has forced them to go on strike and what they want from a new contract.

Kentucky residents who are in need of work may be baffled by a complaint coming from hourly employees at two Jim Beam plants.

The salaries at the facilities are great, the employees say, but they’re working too many hours – and they’d like the company to cut them back.

The issue is unusual, says a local attorney, who noted that most employees want more hours, not less. And a resulting strike by more than 250 workers is rare, says a bourbon historian, who doesn’t recall hearing of a similar event in the 25 years he’s studied the industry.

Yet the conflict can exemplify two struggles currently taking place nationwide: one concerning a better work-life balance and the other concerning the growing pains of a bourbon boom. …

USA Today/Courier-Journal 10/18

About Jeffrey Burman 3107 Articles
Jeff Burman represents assistant editors on the Guild’s Board of Directors. He can be reached at jeffrey.s.burman.57@gmail.com.

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