As we previously reported, unions took aim at ice cream and beer supply lines, which does not bode well for the most optimal Fourth of July celebration in your backyard. Previously, Molson, Coors, and Budweiser snags appeared to be limited to Canada and the United Kingdom, but the drought appears to be spreading to the United States.
In Philadelphia, Teamsters members for three beer distributors (Origlio, Muller, and Penn) hit the picket lines over the weekend after overwhelmingly voting (308-to-40) to strike for higher wages. Shortages have already begun in several counties as a result. Already, Muller declared that new orders are out of the question for its delivery area while it scrambles to fulfill existing orders ahead of the next holiday weekend. So wherever you’re located, beer fans, it’s time to stock up.
Speaking of unpopular (and potentially counterproductive) strikes:
On the other side of the U.S., recent Teamsters moves left Seattle-area concrete companies (and their union employees) struggling to recover after 141 days off the job. No new contract materialized as a result of the Teamsters bringing construction to a halt across the area, and workers’ strike pay doesn’t even begin to add up to normal wages.
The UAW might be taking a hint while boosting strike pay for its members, and one can only imagine that this is a strategic move before the Detroit 3 automakers (Ford, GM, and Chrysler Stellantis) head back to the bargaining table for new contracts. These negotiations could cause more supply chain woes that spread to the dealer level and the consumer, fueling more inflation. And the cycle keeps rolling.
Increased strike pay or not, the UAW and Teamsters still face great challenges:
- UAW locals are setting their sights on unionizing an Indiana EV battery plant (that will open in 2025) slated for 1,400 workers; and another in Ohio, where the union is maneuvering for a card-check agreement to make unionizing easier. All of this is happening while the UAW is staring down the loss of member dues with a Stellantis stamping plant forecasting layoffs.
- Meanwhile, a UAW official is attempting to tamp down expectations that EV factories will automatically bring dream jobs to its members. In doing so, UAW VP Cindy Estrada began a lobbying effort for federal dollars to pump up jobs.
- Striking Teamsters in Indiana saw FireKing replace them with permanent workers as the company continues pushing to meet customer demand. That strike is probably not ending anytime soon, and at a great cost for workers.