Breweries have long been a place associated with unionism and organized labor. However, many smaller breweries did not follow the same path due to small staff size and reasonable conditions.
The staff of one brewery in Olympia, Washington made the decision to organize with SMART Local 66 because of the prospect of better wages, good retirement benefits and to be a part of something. SMART Northwest Regional Council President Tim Carter joined AWF Union Podcast to talk about the brewery and the beer they brew.
Headless Mumby Brewery
The employees at Headless Mumby Brewery decided they wanted to form a union. To do so they held an organizing drive, which resulted in their organization with SMART Local 66.
Carter said the employees decided to organize because they knew union workers typically earned better wages and are afforded quality benefits, such as family health insurance and a retirement plan.
Carter said he was amazed by how much pride the brewery employees had for their new union. He said they were excited to be represented by Local 66. In a show of appreciation, Headless Mumby rolled out Local 66 Lager, a lager served by the brewery named after SMART Local 66.
The 90 barrel brewery started as two separate entities before realizing they could join forces and make a greater business.
COVID-19 pandemic and breweries
One of the hardest industries hit by the COVID-19 pandemic has been breweries and the rest of the service industry. Headless Mumby has managed to keep their taproom open with all COVID-19 restrictions in place.
When they realized that many people felt safer staying at home, they devised a plan to deliver beer to their customers or make it available for them to pick up. Packaging their brews in cans did very well, with their first canned beer being the Local 66 Lager.