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Workers Strike Heaven Hill Distillery


HoustonNit

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HoustonNit

Just seeing news about this surprised nothing on here yet.  I’m personally not buying a single HH product again while the workers are on strike.  Will never buy that Five Brothers bottle.

 

https://www.wdrb.com/news/heaven-hill-workers-plan-to-strike-over-contract-negotiations-in-bardstown/article_54ac80d0-1262-11ec-8b3b-bbd4ddc89deb.html

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I’m typically anti-union, but based on this limited info I’m inclined to side with the workers and not purchase any HH products until this is resolved.  Plenty of quality products out there so very small sacrifice to support these workers.

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I was under the impression that business was great down there.

So now is the time to give rank and file workers the shaft? 

It's not a good look for the company.

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1 hour ago, PaulO said:

I was under the impression that business was great down there.

So now is the time to give rank and file workers the shaft? 

It's not a good look for the company.

 Let's just be real for a second.  Heaven Hill is not a benevolent institution.  They are in the business of making money.  You may have some very small businesses that "share the love" but the VAST majority of businesses pay more when they have to.  Nothing against that.  It's just economics.  

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River Hills

I am not passing up Old Fitzgerald BiB, Parker’s Heritage, ECBP, or EC18 if I see them at MSRP!

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Working weekends based on the demand outstripping supply at such a clip doesn't seem to me to be over-bearing (thinking back years ago to my call center days - we didn't get paid more for weekend work?)  I'm a bit surprised if the Reddit post is accurate about the wage discrepancy, and not wanting to negotiate on that.  Although with these you never hear both sides (maybe HH was offering to match wages at Beam, but expect for that to have folks work 40 hours on whatever days those fall - and that was the rub).  Ultimately, I hope they come to terms, because making less whiskey isn't good for anyone :) 

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I was bummed when they took Very Rare Old Heaven Hill, relabeled it as EWSB and doubled the price. Then, years later took EWSB from 10yo, 90 proof to 8yo 86 proof.  I was disappointed when they watered down EW to 86 proof from 90. I was pissed when they took HHBiB and relabeled it, jacked the price up, and made it a unicorn. I was enraged when they took Old Fitz BiB, watered down the majority of it, relabeled it as Larceny (Accurate), and raised the price. Then took the prime barrels, put it in a fancy bottle and raised the price almost tenfold.  Now, HH 6yo is scarce.   They've been screwing us loyal customers for a long time now, and now they want to short change the folks that  make them all that money.   

 

I'm not a fan of unions, nor am I anti-union, but this time, I hope they (employees) stand their ground and get a fair shake.

 

Edited by wku88
forgot something
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I’m sorry, but I don’t have much sympathy for workers striking primarily over the possibility of weekend shift work. Just about every person that works in retail to sell their products works weekends, and a significant portion of the retail sales of the products they make occurs on the weekends…why should they be exempt from having to work a weekend shift occasionally.

 

The Reddit poster above also sounds like a typical employee that doesn’t understand the economics and finance obligations of running a large business. They appear to quote gross revenue numbers and reference capital expenditures related to business opportunities and future growth needs to justify pay increases now without any reference to the company’s current costs of operations. If true, there does appear to be a substantial difference between Beam pay rates and Heaven Hill, but the devil may be in the details of different rates, work rules and benefit structures. Also, how does Heaven Hill compare to all the other Distilleries?

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14 hours ago, BigRich said:

 Let's just be real for a second.  Heaven Hill is not a benevolent institution.  They are in the business of making money.  You may have some very small businesses that "share the love" but the VAST majority of businesses pay more when they have to.  Nothing against that.  It's just economics.  

I understand.  The point is make a profit, Adam Smith and all that.

The way it's described above, it is presented like the workers are being offered worse compensation as the new deal.  I would say that would seem OK if the company were on hard times.  I'll add, I see a lot of Help Wanted signs nowadays.  Businesses have to compete for employees.  You get what you pay for.  

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Davis Huston
9 hours ago, PaulO said:

I understand.  The point is make a profit, Adam Smith and all that.

The way it's described above, it is presented like the workers are being offered worse compensation as the new deal.  I would say that would seem OK if the company were on hard times.  I'll add, I see a lot of Help Wanted signs nowadays.  Businesses have to compete for employees.  You get what you pay for.  

Agreed. Their previous union contract has expired and the new contract initially offered by Heaven Hill is viewed as a downgrade by the employees. I know some of the workers that are on strike and they are much more concerned about the potential 7 day work weeks (without overtime rates) than the pay/benefits... switching over to a non-traditional shift schedule, after years of a 5-day on 2-day off work week, can really throw a wrench into folks' personal lives.

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HoustonNit
On 9/14/2021 at 8:30 AM, Davis Huston said:

Agreed. Their previous union contract has expired and the new contract initially offered by Heaven Hill is viewed as a downgrade by the employees. I know some of the workers that are on strike and they are much more concerned about the potential 7 day work weeks (without overtime rates) than the pay/benefits... switching over to a non-traditional shift schedule, after years of a 5-day on 2-day off work week, can really throw a wrench into folks' personal lives.

Doesn’t seem like there completely against the idea of having weekend shifts.  They seem to understand the business need for additional output.  It’s however unreasonable for the company not to offer some form of shift differential for working weekend hours which is standard practice.  
 

They appear to be just asking for there wages to be on par with other facilities in the area, that’s not too much to ask.  

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I'm sure concerns vary per individual.  I imagine people with children in school would be up the creek having to suddenly work weekends.  Other folks may resent their weekly religious observance being preempted.  Then, there's the pay too.

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Unions in the USA today are anachronistic and really need to go the way of the Dodo bird. Learn your history about why unions were initially needed in the 19th century and served a necessary purpose for  long time.  Not any more.  They are really counter productive for both worker and employer in the US in the late 20th and early 21st century.

 

I'm buying more HH.

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3 hours ago, Kepler said:

Unions in the USA today are anachronistic and really need to go the way of the Dodo bird. Learn your history about why unions were initially needed in the 19th century and served a necessary purpose for  long time.  Not any more.  They are really counter productive for both worker and employer in the US in the late 20th and early 21st century.

 

I'm buying more HH.

Not me.  HH is a big pass here.  

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HoustonNit
On 9/25/2021 at 12:03 AM, PaulO said:

Honestly, I hope they all sort it out.

Third week and still no deal.

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So, does that mean at some point we expect their products to start running out.  Have they stopped bottling and sending product to distributers.

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smokinjoe
On 10/1/2021 at 7:03 PM, HoustonNit said:

Saw these out there.

 

 

1960B35B-DBE1-4FC6-A2AA-85895E9FCD44.jpeg

CADC3FE4-72C3-48F9-9138-460D5E04633D.jpeg

Whoever created this has a really juvenile take on the situation…

Edited by smokinjoe
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  • 3 weeks later...

KY has about 85000 unemployed; those look like so great jobs to be had.  

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While I have no context on whether the wages themselves are fair, the increases are better than my own company has experienced over the past several years.  Until this year, I personally had a total (not yearly) increase in salary of 2% since 2018.  This year's COLA increase for my team was set at 1.3%.  My health insurance has increased to over $500/month just for coverage for my wife.  Granted..I don't work for a alcohol producer who likely had some record sales in the past couple years.

 

The big sticking point seems to be shift changes for weekend hours with small shift differential pay.

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fishnbowljoe

I sincerely hope everything works out for all parties involved. No offense meant to anyone, and I’m not making light of the situation, but I do have something a bit funny to pass along regarding this topic. 
 

 As most of y’all know, I just recently retired. So today my son sends me an email. The title was: “Job opportunity for you?”. The email itself was just the link to the story about HH hiring replacement workers. My reply to my wonderful son? “Thanks, but it’s too long a drive.” 


Biba! Joe

 


 

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