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Four Roses employees on strike

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smokinjoe
3 hours ago, The Black Tot said:

You can understand 4R needing to pay the next generation of employees a worse benefits package, since sales are so poor and it's a really tough market for them and...

 

Oh.

 

 

Because of course, the future success of 4R is guaranteed...

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GaryT
3 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

Because of course, the future success of 4R is guaranteed...

No . . . just as those worker's jobs aren't guaranteed if the company flounders.  But . . . doesn't seem like it is in dire straits.  From a  PR perspective (which I think is important to note, since we're not privy to all of the details), it doesn't reflect well on 4R to be looking for concessions when business is good.  It reinforces what is becoming a frustrating cliche that the workers don't reap the benefits of a successful business because they didn't "earn more" - despite the business thriving (which must be do to the decisions of those who are very likely seeing big bonuses, increases, etc).  When the wealth gap is brought up as a problem - this (or what we've heard thus far - not the whole story) illustrates that it isn't lower-paid people writing in jealousy over the rich and successful.  Its about an equitable share of the positive outcomes of the business they all participate in.

 

Frankly, if I'm miffed at 4R over anything . . . its still how they handled Jim Rutledge's departure.  THAT was criminal IMHO.

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Richnimrod

4-R is likely thinking about the rather large number of 'new' employees they will take on with current expansion, and thus be obliged to compensate for an entire career... wages as well as benefits.

I imagine the bean counters pointed out that a dollar an hour over a 30-year career is likely to cost well over $65,000 per employee over said career.

...And, the benefit savings by creating a lower-cost-second-tier of employees would save something like that same amount over the same career, hedging the company against the predicted rising costs of wages unpredictably rising future costs of benefits; not to mention business uncertainties.

It makes good sense, if not good publicity, for management to get the best contract they can negotiate; just as it does for labor.

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kcgumbohead
6 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

Because of course, the future success of 4R is guaranteed...

Just as the current success couldn’t have been predicted. The wage/benefits package was just fine with them when it was accepted however long ago, now however, its somehow too much for them to continue for new or as I read it “second tier” employees???  New workers come on in 2018 at a lower rate with fewer benefits than their coworkers, many of whom  were likely around before 4R was all the rage. If that package worked before then I understand the employees  reluctance to sacrifice it now for the next generation.

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kaiserhog

Jim Rutledge leaving 4R, now this.  I will go buy some YL er BL.    I hope Kirin gets it together, 4 Roses was at the forefront of the bourbon boom. 

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The Black Tot
7 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

Because of course, the future success of 4R is guaranteed...

 

Maybe we should give them all minimum wage then - just in case?

 

Edited by The Black Tot
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The Black Tot
1 hour ago, Richnimrod said:

It makes good sense, if not good publicity, for management to get the best contract they can negotiate; just as it does for labor.

They are hiring these new employees because they are doing so well that they have to expand, and indeed can't grow quickly enough.

 

I certainly don't want to go on a future 4R tour and hear any buzz phrases resembling the "Four Roses Valued Team" or the "Four Roses Family" if this stuff is going on in the background.

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GaryT
2 hours ago, Richnimrod said:

4-R is likely thinking about the rather large number of 'new' employees they will take on with current expansion, and thus be obliged to compensate for an entire career... wages as well as benefits.

I imagine the bean counters pointed out that a dollar an hour over a 30-year career is likely to cost well over $65,000 per employee over said career.

...And, the benefit savings by creating a lower-cost-second-tier of employees would save something like that same amount over the same career, hedging the company against the predicted rising costs of wages unpredictably rising future costs of benefits; not to mention business uncertainties.

It makes good sense, if not good publicity, for management to get the best contract they can negotiate; just as it does for labor.

I'm sure they are, but with expansion and growing business, their fixed costs provide even greater economies of scale.  You'd think having even the new workers coming in with the same setup as the workforce that they have now would still provide for growth in margins.  Of course both sides are trying to get the best deal they can negotiate - my assumption (which may be poor as I'm not as experienced with these union negotiations) is that when they get to the point of striking, they've gone through a fair amount of negotiation.  When the wages of workers over the last 2 decades has been stagnant while corporate profits are at an all time high (and salaries for top management have gotten ridiculous by comparison), I have little sympathy for management's concern over the rising costs of wages and benefits.  

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smokinjoe

So, we have a glimpse of a couple of demands that have not been agreed to by 4R. I would be interested to know where there is agreement.  Where 4R gave in, and if there was any give from the union side.  

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Richnimrod
4 hours ago, smokinjoe said:

So, we have a glimpse of a couple of demands that have not been agreed to by 4R. I would be interested to know where there is agreement.  Where 4R gave in, and if there was any give from the union side.  

Yup. 

We'll likely never hear what that 'give-and-take' consisted of.   It would certainly be a window into the thinking of both sides, though.    Often the 'hard lines' taken by either side turn out to be bargaining propaganda.    Sometimes these 'positions' get way more flexible when it gets down to brass tacks. 

I hope each side gets a satisfactory slice of the pie and gets back to the business of making great Bourbon for all of us to celebrate with, assuming a strike is averted.    If not, then nobody will be celebrating, I guess.

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Josh

I dropped off some supplies for the strikers on Friday afternoon. The mood among the strikers seemed positive. I got a chance to talk a little to Jeff Royalty (right) who is president of the UFCW local 10D. He said they were receiving a lot of support from the community and people around the country.20180914_115902.thumb.jpeg.96dffcca96087bdc00673fcf7a1d4d67.jpeg

 

 

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Whiskeythink.com

I was gonna go by 4R on Friday when in town, but it feels wrong, like Im crossing the picket line.

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GaryT

Here's a response from Four Roses.  Per their statement, sounds like the only change (at least that being talked about outside the room) is to the sick leave bank and the introduction of short-term disability.  

 

https://lex18.com/news/covering-kentucky/2018/09/17/four-roses-releases-statement-on-strike/

 

That all seems pretty reasonable and rational to me; curious to see the response from the union (as the workers talking points don't seem to line up - were they mis-informed by the negotiators?)

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CUfan99

I have limited experience and exposure to unions but what I have had has all been negative. After hearing from both sides on this I have to say the union gets another mark in my negative impression box. 

 

I work in a 3 or 4 tier system; some folks with more time in than me got some nice benefits not available to me. Nobody looks at those people with contempt. Good for them. If I don’t like my situation then I need to look for better elsewhere and if new hires don’t like the package being offered don’t sign on. The union is holding the employer hostage and their demand is “never change the benefit package for anybody ever”. Unreasonable IMO. 

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Josh

This seems like a normal part of the back and forth of a labor dispute. Hopefully this back and forth in the press means they'll be getting back to the table soon.

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smokinjoe

I was reading some of the links above and this comment from an attorney for Local 10D at 4R stuck out:

 

If new hires are hiring into this facility, and they perceive the people that are here now having sold them out, agreeing to benefits that are less to them than active employees, then of course they would say 'Why would I want to pay union dues? Why would I want to be a participant?'"

 

Heehee, follow the money trail to the union.  

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PaulO

How about this.  If the new people work for much less money, does the company really want to keep the older people around?

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CUfan99
35 minutes ago, PaulO said:

How about this.  If the new people work for much less money, does the company really want to keep the older people around?

Do union workers usually get rewarded for seniority now?

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Josh

According to social media posts from the Greater Louisville Central Labor Committee, the strike is over!

No two tier system, instead there will be two benefit packages new hires can choose from, the current one or a new one.FB_IMG_1537556440178.jpeg

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smokinjoe

Great to hear.  4R gives them the both of both worlds, and the option to choose, no less.  Nice job Roses.  Sounds like they went above and beyond.

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Jackinbox
On 9/15/2018 at 9:11 AM, kaiserhog said:

Jim Rutledge leaving 4R, now this.  I will go buy some YL er BL.    I hope Kirin gets it together, 4 Roses was at the forefront of the bourbon boom. 

 

Was the reason Jim Rutledge left ever revealed?  I was inactive around here at the time that happened, so I was curious as to what went down.

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The Black Tot

It's not "Nice job, 4 Roses" when you have to strike to get it.

 

"Nice job, union" more like.

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smokinjoe
3 hours ago, The Black Tot said:

It's not "Nice job, 4 Roses" when you have to strike to get it.

 

"Nice job, union" more like.

Union wanted one.  4R gave both.  Taking care of their workers +.  

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flahute
4 hours ago, Jackinbox said:

 

Was the reason Jim Rutledge left ever revealed?  I was inactive around here at the time that happened, so I was curious as to what went down.

Not publicly.

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HoustonNit
 
Was the reason Jim Rutledge left ever revealed?  I was inactive around here at the time that happened, so I was curious as to what went down.


I just assumed he was ready for retirement or semi retirement and wanted to pass the reigns to Elliot.

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