Unions Take Aim At Beer And Ice Cream Supply Lines While Also Stirring Up More EV Drama

by | May 5, 2022 | Auto Manufacturing, IBT, Politics, Strikes, UAW

Unions made no secret of their willingness to take advantage of pandemic-related frustrations by nudging workers towards the picket lines amid contentious contract negotiations. As such, they’ve contributed to ongoing supply chain issues as humanity continues to feel its way back toward normalcy. From groceries to electronics and autos, nearly every industry saw difficulties in staying stocked up over the past few years.

Here’s a new wrinkle: Unions decided to come for ice cream and beer.

  • At the main Kemps ice cream plant (located in Rochester, MN), workers voted to strike after the Teamsters and Dairy Farmers of America (which owns the plant) failed to reach a contract. Notably, the local’s business agent scheduled that vote for International Workers Day (May 1), dubbed as such for the 1886 strikes surrounding demands for the eight-hour workday.
  • At the Molson Coors facility in Quebec, an ongoing Teamsters strike stirred up anxiety among bar owners, who fear that the beer brand’s products will run dry. That’s especially the case in some of Canada’s rural-set bars, which find themselves bound by an exclusive agreement to only serve Molson Coors products. And over in the United Kingdom, Budweiser workers (represented by the GMB Union) are signaling a strike amid a pay dispute, which could very well lead to a “drought” this summer of not only Bud but Stella Artois and more.

In EV land, the UAW continues to grumble about USPS vehicles after previously complaining that a fleet would not be produced (as expected) in Wisconsin by union workers but, instead, by non-union workers in South Carolina. To update the situation, the UAW wants to block the USPS plan for a $2.98 billion order that heavily skews toward gas-powered vehicles. Couple that with Biden snubbing union-free Tesla at his EV summit, and it is clear that the UAW is miffed about not receiving similar preferential treatment by USPS, which they expected to hop on the union-friendly bandwagon.

Granted, USPS is still doubling their existing purchase of EVs, but that is not enough for the UAW. The EPA already stepped on the complaint train, as did the White House, which is no surprise, given Biden’s preference toward hefty tax incentives for unionized EV plants. Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin criticized the idea of expanding those tax credits while calling the practice “absolutely ludicrous.” Since Manchin is a congressional swing-vote, that doesn’t bode well for the UAW.

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