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Beam Suntory to invest US$1bn in Bourbon, Jim Beam workers strike

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Beam Suntory has said it expects to spend around US$1bn on growing its Bourbon operations as employees from two sites take strike action. 

Jim Beam employees are calling for a better work/life balance

Jim Beam employees are calling for a better work/life balance

Parent company Suntory's president & CEO Takeshi Niinami visited Kentucky earlier this week, where he told reporters the company would spend the cash on distilling, bottling and ageing operations. A spokesperson for the company confirmed to just-drinks that the investment is expected to take place over the next five years. 

According to the Chicago Tribune, Niinami did not address strikes at two of Jim Beam's facilities. Unionised employees walked out at midnight last Friday. Jim Beam workers in Clermont and Boston, who are members of union United Food and Commercial Workers, are calling for "a better work/life balance". In a statement issued by local union president Janelle Mudd, union workers said they wanted "protection of seniority, job security, clear contract language, and improvements in safety". Mudd called for a "return to the family values and heritage upon which the Jim Beam brand is based".

Beam Suntory spokesperson Emily York told just-drinks that the company had met with union associates on Sunday. 

"We had a constructive session with a group of union associates representing a cross section of seniority and functions," she said. "It was not a negotiation but a meeting to help clarify points of disagreement. We expect to meet again soon with the assistance of the federal mediator. We remain committed to doing what we can to promote a timely resolution that is in the interest of our union employees and our business."

Click here to read just-drinks' full series of Non-Scotch Whisk(e)y Essentials articles


Sectors: Spirits

Companies: Beam Suntory Inc

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