252 union workers went on strike on Saturday at Jim Beam distilleries at Clermont and Boston in Kentucky after rejecting the latest contract offer from the world's leading bourbon producer. Key issue of the strike is not the salary but the overtime of up to 80 hours a week due to growing sales of bourbon and whiskey worldwide and higher demand for premium spirits and cocktails. Union representatives demand that the company hire more workers so that employees can spend more time with their families.
"We're thrilled that bourbon is booming… But if it's booming that well, then you should be able to hire people and put them to work." says Janelle Mudd, a Jim Beam employee and union representative. And she goes on: "The money is not what we're unhappy about. It's very important for people to understand that."
Jim Beam, which belongs to Japanese Suntory Holdings Ltd does not expected any shortages in the supply of Bourbon. "Given our inventories and contingency plans, we currently do not anticipate shortages of Jim Beam or any other products made at these facilities," David Hunter, chief supply chain officer for Beam Suntory, told the press on Friday.