Local businesses prepare for the possibility of a UPS strike that could have massive impact on economy and supply chain
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - At Alpha Brewing Company in South St. Louis, the UPS delivery truck pulls in daily, bringing in needed equipment and products for the small business.
“We get all of our hops from Oregon; that’s all UPS. They’re 44-pound boxes, and that’s the only carrier they use,” said Derrick Langeneckert, owner of Alpha Brewing.
But deliveries could be at risk as a potential strike looms.
The county’s 34,000 UPS workers could strike at the end of the month if a new contract is not reached between the union and the company.
“Our leadership told UPS they made record profits during the global pandemic, when many businesses were struggling, and they made that money on the backs of our workers,” said Chris Tongay with Teamster Local 688.
Local 688 represents about 3,500 members in the Eastern Missouri area. They are preparing for a strike on Aug. 1 which would have a major impact on the economy.
UPS delivers around 24 million packages every day across the country.
The Teamsters have imposed several deadlines for United Parcel Service negotiators to make their “last, best and final” offer to its unionized workers in recent days. Union officials said UPS “walked away from the bargaining table after presenting an unacceptable offer,” specifically with regard to the economic package.
UPS told a different story. The package delivery company said it was the Teamsters who abandoned negotiations, “despite UPS’s historic offer that builds on our industry-leading pay.”
Whichever the case, talks are at a stalemate with the end of the contract — midnight on July 31 — rapidly approaching. Teamster-represented UPS workers voted for a strike authorization last month and union chief Sean O’Brien said last week that a strike was imminent.
If a strike occurs, it would be the first since a 15-day walkout by 185,000 workers in 1997.
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