Creature Comforts fails to recognize Brewing Union, workers petition for union election

UPDATE 1/27/23: The Brewing Union is reporting that they have filed two unfair labor practice charges against Creature Comforts for “interfering with employees’ federally protected right to engage in union organizing, and for engaging in discriminatory conduct.”

The workers of Creature Comforts Brewery have filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board calling for an election to determine if they will be represented by the Brewing Union of Georgia. If the election is successful, the Brewing Union would begin the process of collective bargaining with brewery management on behalf of brewing, packaging and taproom employees at Creature Comforts.

The Brewing Union of Georgia logo

Union organizers filed their petition after Creature Comforts management failed to voluntarily recognize the Brewing Union within three days. The union informed management of the three-day window in a letter they delivered on Friday, January 13 at 2:30 pm. 

Management declined to speak to union representatives on Friday, according to union organizers. On Monday, Creature Comforts CEO Chris Herron responded, saying that he would consider the union’s request for recognition. However, this response fell short of full recognition, so organizers went through with their plan to file an election petition with the National Labor Relations Board.

Brewing Union organizer Joseph Carter told APN that their act of filing a petition doesn’t prevent Creature Comforts management from recognizing them; they can do that at any time. “And workers encourage them to do so,” Carter added.

Creature Comforts Brewery is a certified B Corporation, meaning they have met a rigorous standard demonstrating that they offer social and environmental benefits to their communities. Creature Comfortas achieved B Corp certification in August of 2021. 

Creature Comforts states on their website that “the rigor of B Corp standards will also continually challenge us to uphold our values which drive the brewery to continuously look for opportunities to improve for the well-being of our employees and the communities we serves [sic].”

Union organizers noted in their press release that Creature Comforts’ stated value to “‘Be for People’ essentially demands a union.”

Creature Comforts workers are asking for “more transparent wage and promotion policies, worker participation in corporate governance, company-wide paid-time-off (PTO), and improvements to organizational structures,” according to the Brewing Union press release.

Creature Comforts management was not immediately available for comment on this story.

Photo of the National Labor Relations Board building by user Geraldshields11 on Wikimedia Commons [CC BY-SA 3.0].

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