Workers at Anchor Brewing Co. in San Francisco voted to unionize Wednesday, becoming one of the few small brewers in the country to be unionized.
Employees at “America’s first craft brewery” voted 31-16 to organize with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. Only a few breweries outside of the Anheuser-Busch and MillerCoors groups are unionized, including the Lagunitas brewery in Chicago and Boston Beer’s brewery in Cincinnati. There was an effort to unionize at the now-closed Pyramid Brewery in Berkeley, Calif. in 2013 but that effort failed.
The friction between workers and the new owner (Sapporo bought the brewery in 2017) has been percolating for many months as worker have complained about poor working conditions, low-hour shifts to avoid mandated benefits for “full time” workers and overall low wages.