Company President Sending All 800 Employees on Caribbean Cruise

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One common complaint of the modern American worker is that they don’t get enough time for vacation, especially paid vacation. Well, one factory in Waterloo, Iowa is taking care of that and then some by paying for the entire staff to go on vacation together.

Gary Bertch, the President and co-founder (along with his wife, Becky) of Bertch Cabinet, told all of his workers last week that they were all going on a week-long Caribbean cruise being paid for by the company as thanks after Bertch Cabinet met all of its yearly goals.

“We leave Jan. 8,” Bertch explains. “We’ve got four charter aircraft that will be flying directly to Miami Sunday and staying at a nice five-star hotel. Then on Monday, we’ll bus over from the hotel to the port and load up on the ship.”

Bertch has occasionally challenged his workers with incentives for meeting the company’s goals. At the started of the year, Bertch teased the idea of a cruise, as he’s done in the past. He says all of his goals have been met, with the company finally able to make a full recovery from the 2008 recession.

“We just tried to get all of our people pumped up a little more to achieve the various goals, both customer-oriented goals and financial goals,” Bertch explains.

Bertch has been offering cruises as an incentive for his employees since 1989 when the whole company went to Acapulco, Mexico. However, the last cruise came in 2005, before the recession.

After the recession, the company downsized from more than 1,000 employees to about 600. Bertch has noted a “very slow” recovery in his industry, but is proud that he’s been able to start adding jobs again, currently giving Bertch Cabinet more than 800 workers.

Bertch is also excited for next year, when he expects sales to improve even more. But first, he and his entire staff will celebrate meeting this year’s financial goals by taking a Caribbean cruise that will include a stop on the island of Cozumel.

“If anyone knows our crowd,” Bertch says, “they like to have fun.”