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Strike by Union Workers at Heaven Hill Distillery Entering Fourth Week

Bottles of single barrel bourbon are filled on the bottling line at a distillery in Kentucky, the center of the bourbon universe. But some distillers are looking to other spirits, too.
Joshua Rainey
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A strike at one of the world’s largest bourbon producers is entering its fourth week.

The stalemate is over a proposed contract at Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown.

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 23D rejected the proposed five-year contract offered by Heaven Hill Distillery based in large part on concerns about possible expanded weekend shifts.  

The walkout involves about 420 members of the union. 

The Bardstown distillery signaled that it wanted to assign new hires to nontraditional schedules that would include weekend work, but the union is concerned about how those shifts would be covered if new employees are not available. 

WHAS-TV reported that Heaven Hill recently sent a letter to union members that said there are possible misconceptions about the proposed contract and that current members would not be required to change to non-traditional schedules. 

Family-owned and operated Heaven Hill produces Evan Williams, one of the world’s top-selling bourbons.
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Rhonda Miller began as reporter and host for All Things Considered on WKU Public Radio in 2015. She has worked as Gulf Coast reporter for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, where she won Associated Press, Edward R. Murrow and Green Eyeshade awards for stories on dead sea turtles, health and legal issues arising from the 2010 BP oil spill and homeless veterans.
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