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Heaven Hill strike enters third week as union claims negotiations stalled

Members of UFCW Local 23D took to the picket lines Sept. 11 after failing to reach a contract...
Members of UFCW Local 23D took to the picket lines Sept. 11 after failing to reach a contract with Heaven Hill Distilleries.(Source: Michael Williams, WAVE 3 News)
Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 9:03 PM EDT
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BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WAVE) - More than 400 Heaven Hill workers are still on strike as an agreement between the union and the Bardstown distillery has not been reached.

United Food and Commercial Workers have worked to approve a new five-year contract with Heaven Hill that would allow fair pay and scheduling.

A federal negotiator urged for the company and the union to continue negotiations on Sept. 29, but UFCW said Heaven Hill has “refused to return to the table,” according to a release.

Before the strike, a contract was presented to members of UFCW 23D that the union said would remove a cap on health insurance premium increases, cut overtime and reduce pay.

The contract was rejected and union workers began picketing on Sept. 11.

“Our first priority is delivering a strong contract for these Kentucky workers,” UFCW Local 23D President Matt Aubrey said in a statement. “We are calling on Heaven Hill to work together with us now to help end this strike and make the critical investments needed to support good Kentucky jobs and keep our economy and community strong.”

Heaven Hill brand spokesman Josh Hafer provided the following statement to WAVE 3 News Tuesday night:

“Monday was the start of an ongoing dialogue with the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 23D. We will continue to work collaboratively with their leadership toward ratification of an industry-leading employment contract.”

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