Workers at Tattersall Distillery have voted to unionize, officially joining forces with Minneapolis-based hospitality union Unite Here! Local 17. The mail-in ballots were counted and certified Thursday by the National Labor Relations Board.
While some macro-distillery brands have union workforces (Jim Beam, Pinnacle Vodka, Captain Morgan), Thursday’s vote by Tattersall workers made them the first U.S. craft spirits shop to unionize, according to Unite Here! Local 17.
“We’ve said it before but we want to reiterate that we love Tattersall,” the Tattersall union wrote Thursday. “We consider this win another opportunity for Tattersall to be a leader in the industry; to be a catalyst of growth and progress for other establishments in and around our community.”
The move affects 27 front-of-house and bottling Tattersall workers, who will now be able to collectively bargain for pay and benefits; Unite Here! represents more than 6,000 workers.
How’d the Tattersall union push play out? What does it mean for workers? Will there be ripple effects throughout the craft booze industry? We asked union reps those exact questions, but didn’t immediately hear back.
“We respect the decision of our employees and will bargain in good faith with the union,” Jon Kreidler, co-owner of Tattersall, tells us.
Back in June, Kreidler and his biz partner, co-owner Dan Oskey, issued anti-union sentiments via an Instagram post, writing: “We don’t believe a union is necessary, nor is it in the best interest of our employees or our company.”
The internet swiftly dunked all over them, prompting a “we hear you” backpedal.
Now we’ll get to see if a unionized workplace is in the best interest of Tattersall workers.
Tattersall, which won our Best Craft Distillery prize back in 2016, pivoted to hand sanitizer production during the early days of the pandemic, and continues to offer to-go drinks and spirits at its Northeast cocktail room.