A bourbon battle: Jim Beam union workers in Bullitt County overw - WDRB 41 Louisville News

A bourbon battle: Jim Beam union workers in Bullitt County overwhelmingly vote to strike

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BULLITT COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) -

It's a bourbon battle.

After 33 days of negotiating with Bean Suntory, union workers at Jim Beam voted to strike at the distillery in Bullitt County.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 111D vote count was 201-19.

The Japanese company Suntory Holdings acquired Jim Beam two years ago as part of a $16 billion deal. Beam Suntory, Inc. is a subsidiary of Suntory Holdings. 

Beam Suntory executive Kevin Smith says he doesn't understand why the union workers don't agree with the proposed two year contract.

He says it’s competitive and was actually recommended by the union. It includes a wage increase, and it eliminates the two-tiered wage system (a pay roll plan where some employees have better pay and benefits than others).

The employees have not yet released why they disagree with the proposed contract.

Smith says Beam Suntory is committed to quickly resolving the issues.

The strike is expected to go into effect at midnight on Friday, when the current contract ends. 

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