Heaven Hill strike week three

BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- Workers on strike at Heaven Hill Distillery in Bardstown are going on their third week on the picket line.

The strike started Sept. 11 after United Food and Commercial Workers Local 23D declined a contract offer. The union said it wants a more competitive wage and benefits package in the new contract.

During its second week, Heaven Hill pushed for a temporary restraining order after the picketers reportedly harassed and blocked drivers coming to and from the bottling facility. A judge granted the request.

"I think a lot of the things that were brought in to Judge Simms was probably not true," said Tammy Shain, one of the workers picketing." But, I mean, I guess as a judge, he had to do what was best."

The union workers now have a schedule with four-hour shifts, and there's four different picket sites.

Frankie Carrico, a union steward, said Monday that the negotiation meeting was brought forward by the mediator. Carrico said this is not a good sign for reaching an agreement.

"It tells me that the company is not ready yet," he said.

Meanwhile, Shain said it makes her mad to hear the company didn't call the meeting on the third week of the strike.

"It's kind of a slap in the face that they didn't want to even come together," she said. "It's kind of telling us that maybe they don't care, because they've waited so long to even decide that they wanted to do this."

The union also believes Heaven Hill hired temporary workers to help while the hundreds of employees in the local 23D union are on strike. Heaven Hill would not comment if that is true, instead Friday sending WDRB News the following statement:

On Monday, September 27, Heaven Hill officials and representatives of the United Food and Commercial Workers 23D are returning to the negotiating table.

The company is prepared to reconvene with union leadership to work toward the ratification of a quality workforce package. Our employees are a source of pride and we have consistently collaborated over the years with all of our labor unions. It is our priority to provide competitive compensation and benefit packages and we look forward to discussing this in more detail with union leadership.

Heaven Hill would not comment Monday on the negotiation meeting and referred back to Friday's statement. 

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