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Employees of popular Athens brewery plan to unionize

The group of workers starting the union has called themselves the Brewing Union of Georgia. This move could be historic for the beer brewing industry.
Credit: Kaitie Britton

ATHENS, Ala. — Several employees decided to begin unionizing at the popular Creature Comforts Brewing Company in Athens.

Employees at the company want improved working conditions at the brewery, with higher pay a part of that list.

"We want to try to create space for the people who are so here to want to and feel able to stay," said Katie Britton, the brand marketing manager at Creature Comforts.

The group of workers starting the union have called themselves the Brewing Union of Georgia. This move could be historic for the beer brewing industry.

"Looking at the values that Creature's has, we all really believe in those values and agree with them," Britton said, adding later, "if we come together as a company all together and live out those values, then it is an amazing space for people in Athens."

Overall - employees want Creature Comforts to know they love their job and want to see improvements. Employees are asking to be included in company decisions and have their opinions heard. They want more job clarity and transparency within the company.

The Athens brewery responded to the reports saying that they "fully respect our employees" and are navigating the process, but rejected the claims, calling them "false and baseless." A full copy of their response can be read at the end of this article. 

A hearing is set for Feb. 8, where both parties can present their thoughts on the union.

Below | Full Statement from Creature Comforts on unionizing

"January 30, 2023

We started Creature Comforts in 2014 with the idea that we wanted to build something better. Creature Comforts is an incredibly unique and special place that has made a real impact on the lives of its people and in the Athens community because so many people have made it that way.

We are very proud of our company and our employees and what we have achieved together. 

We are navigating this legal process, and we unequivocally and fully respect our employees exercising their rights. Creating space for everyone to talk to each other and get educated is exactly how we have always operated; it’s a core part of who we are as a company and aligns with our purpose of fostering human connection. All employees in the bargaining unit will have the opportunity to vote, and we sincerely hope they do. We’ve always supported and always will support our entire collective staff and will continue to ensure that every single person gets a chance to be educated and for their individual voice to be heard in this process.

Late this afternoon we received a copy of an unfair labor practice charge filed by the Brewers’ Union of Georgia. The charge contains false and baseless claims and shows that the Union lacks a fundamental understanding of the National Labor Relations Act. We are confident that after reviewing the evidence, the NLRB will conclude that these claims are invalid. We are committed to continuing to communicate directly with our employees and to ensuring they feel supported and empowered to exercise their legal rights and engage in this process.

- Chris Herron (CEO and Co-Founder) and Adam Beauchamp (CPO and Co-Foun"

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