After Weeks of Silence, Heaven Hill Appears to Launch Website Regarding Ongoing Strikes
Less than 24 hours ago, a tip came through that brought our eyes to a new development in the work stoppage at Bardstown, Kentucky’s Heaven Hill Distillery. The distillery has been notably quiet as strikes continue – now in their fourth week.
Workers at Heaven Hill are members of the UFCW 23D union. The conclusion of a five-year working contract with no agreed renewal terms is the crux of a disagreement between Heaven Hill and Union members. Claims of excessive working streaks, sub-par overtime and lack of respect in the face of the pandemic have been reported.
On Tuesday, the website HeavenHillFacts was discovered. The page outlines the timeline, perspective and history of the strike according to the distillery. This is an interesting move – not coming from Heaven Hill’s main website, its PR, its marketing or a designated spokesperson of the company. This is the first verifiable announcement the brand has made at a wide scale, although last week, Reddit user slushyswag12 reported receiving a letter from Max Shapira explaining aspects of the contract negotiations. Shapira runs the privately held distillery along with the rest of his family.
The website appears to be a recently registered site, using a fairly standard privacy-forward WHOIS registration and is running on WordPress. Heaven Hill, so far, hasn’t reached out to mention the creation of the page.
Heaven Hill appears to be using the page to combat accounts on social media, commentary from spectators and from the union members themselves. Notably, the page communicates that:
“Heaven Hill remains committed to working collaboratively with union leadership toward ratification of an industry-leading employment contract.
While there has been much discussion in the public and the media, Heaven Hill has proposed a highly competitive compensation package. In recent weeks, there have been any number of inaccurate comments made regarding the comprehensive enhancements to our previous contract and we want to be sure that the facts are clear in regard to Heaven Hill’s offer to union members.”
While unorthodox, there could be any number of reasons the site is live but not yet announced. Typically, companies develop assets such as these using a staging environment that isn’t visible to the public. That said, there’s no evidence the site is being run by an entity other than Heaven Hill, the site was made live prematurely or that the site is destined to be a major PR asset. We’ll continue to report as the page develops, as contract negotiations continue and as Bardstown, Kentucky workers (and beyond) continue to hold out – same as Heaven Hill.
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