Seagram’s: Union Made in the USA
A look at Seagram’s Distillery, a union facility in Lawrenceburg Indiana
There is nothing better than a cold drink after a long, difficult work week. After giving your job all that you’ve got for five days, you’re ready for one.
Members of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 13D work at the Lawrenceburg-Greendale distillery of Indiana, the distillery is owned by MGPI of Indiana. Their products are sold under about 50 different brand names by various bottling companies, like Seagram’s.
The distillery was founded in 1847 and purchased by Seagram in 1933. While under their ownership, it was called the Jos. E. Seagram Lawrenceburg Plant. When Seagram went out of business and its assets were acquired by other companies, the Lawrenceburg distillery became the property of Pernod Richard. In 2006, Ricard announced plans to close the distillery but instead sold it in 2007 to CL Financial. This company too would collapse. In 2011, MGP Ingredients announced it had reached an agreement to purchase the distillery. In 2012, Diageo, the parent company of Seagram’s, is the distillery’s biggest customer.
UFCW Local 13D is based out of Lawrenceburg, Indiana. They represent employees in both Proximo Distillers and M.G.P. They currently have around 140 members. In 2012, the union ratified a multi-year collective bargaining agreement with MGPI. The agreement took effect on March 7 of 2012 and runs through December 31, 2017.
The relationship between the company and the union helps to make the distillery run. “We are very pleased with the outcome of the vote by members of the union local at our Lawrenceburg-Greendale distillery operations,” said Dave Rindom, vice president of human resources for MGP Ingredients, Inc., parent company of MGPI of Indiana. “The company extends its most sincere compliments to the union’s negotiating team and overall membership for the commendable manner in which discussions were conducted and thoughts exchanged regarding the various components of this agreement. The process served as an exemplary model of our internal corporate motto, people-pride-progress, in motion.”
The next time that you are looking for a glass of whiskey, turn to Seagram’s. Not only does it taste good, but you’ll be supporting a local union. Oh, and if you ever see LaGrange at the bar, offer to buy him a shot. It’s one of his favorites.