By Rachelle Jacoby
On August 25th I attended the family and friends day at the Anheuser-Busch brewery and packaging factory in the San Fernando Valley, CA. I was not only excited to get to see the factory, but also to get free, unlimited beer! Anheuser-Busch is the parent company for beers such as Stella, Shock Top, and Kirin. Free Shock Top? I am so there!
When we first got there, we had to wait in a line of over 200 people, all eager to see the inside workings of Anheuser-Busch. When we finally got inside, we were given a tour of the grounds. I got to see every step in the process from brewing to bottling— I never realized how much time, how many people and how many machines it took to make the beer we buy and consume within a few hours. While walking through the factory, I noticed every worker had to pay attention to detail, as Anheuser-Busch will only put out the highest quality of their product.
It was really cool to see how much pride all the Anheuser-Busch employees had about the work they perform in the factory. There are only about 300 workers at the plant but over 3,500 people came to show their support. In every corner of the factory, there were employees with huge smiles on their faces, proud to tell their friends and families how the machines operate.
I knew from working on Labor 411, that the Anheuser-Busch plant was unionized by the Teamsters. But what I didn’t know was that even the chemists and analysts were also under the union. I know that safety is one of the main values unions bring to the workplace, but I was surprised with all the extensive safety precautions around the factory such as signs, protective wear, and alarm systems. I can’t imagine how unsafe an un-unionized factory must be in comparison. This is my favorite sign because of the sarcastic language.
After we finished our tour, we got to go outside to a huge courtyard area where there was a car show, food trucks and beer stations. I grabbed a couple Shock Tops and a burger and fries and sat down and soaked up the California sun.
All in all, it was a great afternoon and it was amazing to see how happy the union Anheuser-Busch employees are on the job.