Four Roses Workers Stand Together to Defend Rights of New Hires
Distillery workers put their jobs on the line to protect the future of their workplace
Lawrenceburg, Ky.— While thousands gather in Bardstown, Ky., this week to celebrate the current bourbon boom at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, workers at Four Roses distillery and bottling facilities are standing together to ensure that all members of the Four Roses family earn equal benefits for their hard work. The hard-working men and women who craft Four Roses bourbon made the difficult decision to go on strike on September 7.
For more than two months, company officials at Four Roses have failed to negotiate a fair contract with their union employees. The company has been pushing to implement a two-tier system that would reduce benefits for new employees, even as the company invests $55 million in expanding the distillery to keep up with global demand for Four Roses bourbon.
“We’re a family at Four Roses. We all work together because we take pride in the quality represented by that Four Roses label,” said UFCW Local 23D member Curt Standiford, who has worked for Four Roses for five years. “We cannot let the company treat the new hires like they are not a part of this family. I’m putting my job on the line to protect new hires because I believe in the tradition and dedication that we put into every barrel of Four Roses.”
On September 7, Four Roses workers across three unions took the extraordinary step of voting to strike if the company would not come to an agreement that set a single standard for all employees.
“The bourbon business is booming, and our hard-working members have dedicated themselves to Four Roses’ success,” said Ronnie Hatfield, president of UFCW Local 23D, which represents workers at the warehousing facility in Bullitt County. “This company is expanding and now is not the time to steal the future from hard-working Kentucky families who want to be part of the Four Roses tradition.”
“We are one union family at Four Roses and we will not be divided,” said Jeffrey Royalty, president of UFCW Local 10D, which represents workers in the distillery in Lawrenceburg, Ky. “We want to make Four Roses a better company for the next generation. Employees working side by side to craft Four Roses bourbon have earned the same better future for their families.”
- Four Roses is currently nearing completion of a $55 million expansion of its distillery and warehousing.
- The UFCW has been negotiating for a fair contract with Four Roses since June.
- The current contract expired on July 31, but UFCW members continued working under a contract extension until September 7.
- Four Roses workers went on strike on September 7 after holding a strike vote.
- Workers at Four Roses are represented by UFCW Local 10D, UFCW Local 23D and NCFO 320.