Heaven Hill employees vote to strike on eve of Kentucky Bourbon Festival


Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021 — On the eve of the state’s signature Bourbon event — the Kentucky Bourbon Festival — the employees of the family-owned Bardstown-based Heaven Hill Distillery have gone on strike.

Early Saturday morning, a handful of striking employees were already on the picket line in front of the Heaven Hill Barrell Preserve on US31E north of Cox’s Creek.

The employees, represented by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 23-D, have been in negotiations since summer regarding the contract which expired at 11:59 p.m. Friday, Sept. 10, 2021.

The company’s union employees overwhelmingly voted down the proposed contract, 372-13.

Employees say the proposed contract sought to change the company’s shifts that could require employees to work weekends rather than the traditional Monday through Friday work week.

A union representative said the company’s wages are behind those of other comparable companies, and are no longer competitive.

The company called the union negotiations so far “productive ” and pledged to continue work with the union to reach an agreeable contract.

The Kentucky Bourbon Festival officially kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 16th.


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