The company that provides internet service to residents near the Four Roses distillery on Bonds Mill Road asked for and was given permission this morning to cross a picket line formed by striking union workers.
All Points Broadband will install a solar panel on a grain bin owned by the distillery to power a wireless repeater device after electicity to that device was apparently cut just one day after union members went on strike over a contract dispute.
Jeff Royalty, president of UFCW Local 10D, said a representative from All Points Broadband, which was allowed by Four Roses to install the repeater so residents in that area could receive broadband internet service, made the request this morning to install the solar panel.
“Of course we said yes,” said Royalty. “We don’t want to cause any harm to the people in this community.”
Royalty said he isn’t sure why power was cut to the repeater, but wondered if it was done to prevent picketing union members from having internet service.
Union workers finished their day’s work yesterday and, because they haven’t been able to secure a new contract with the company that owns Four Roses, shut down the plant and began picketing around 3:30 p.m.
Royalty said contract negotiations broke down due to the company’s demand for a two-tier system which would provide lower benefits to new hires, along with a dispute over the use of sick time. He said he’s holding out hope that the company would renew negotiations sometime over the weekend.
“I offered to sit down with them as soon as possible and get back to work Monday,” he said. “The next move is theirs.”
Four Roses management has said it does not publically discuss negotiations.
An earlier version of this article identified the internet provider as Shelby Broadway, which was acquired last month by All Points Broadband.