LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- It has been nearly a week since employees at Heaven Hill Distilleries went on strike. 

When the strike began early Saturday morning, they lost their pay, health insurance and their patience with management.

"We are Heaven Hill proud, but we are also union proud, and we're gonna stand our ground," said Karen Green, a utility worker at Heaven Hill.

Last week, nearly 400 union members voted overwhelmingly to reject a five-year contract offer from the company.

"We've had COVID. We stayed in there seven days a week. We worked 12-hour shifts," said Tonya Downs, a filler operator at Heaven Hill. "And then they sit here and smack us in the face like this. And you want to say family? Please explain to me what family is."

Matt Aubrey, with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 23D, said the membership voted down the contract knowing what was at stake.

"As you can see, that's the last thing that's on their mind," Aubrey said. "You know, they feel undervalued and they feel mistreated."

Aubrey said there's been no contact with management since last week, and he's surprised by that lack of communication.

"I'm very disappointed," he said. "They say that they are family-owned and they're family-ran. They want all them to feel like family. And if that was the case, you know, they should have already reached out to these people."

Workers are hoping for an agreement, but they're prepared for the worst.

"I don't care if it's until Christmas," Green said. "I'll be right here in this same spot if they don't come back with something."

A spokesperson for the company declined to comment for this story.

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