Jim Beam union workers in Kentucky vote in favor of strike

Markets Associated Press

Union workers at Jim Beam's distilleries in Kentucky have voted in favor of a strike as contract negotiations have soured.

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Members of a United Food and Commercial Workers local voted overwhelmingly Tuesday evening in favor of walking off their jobs with the world's largest bourbon producer, according to the Kentucky Standard.

Beam Suntory executive Kevin Smith says the current contract runs through Friday. He says the company is trying to understand the reasons why union members at the Clermont and Boston distilleries voted down a two-year contract proposal that included wage increases.

Smith says the company is committed to "resolving this mater expeditiously."

The classic American whiskey brand is owned by Suntory Holdings Ltd., a Japanese beverage company.

A union official did not immediately return a call Wednesday.