Union Authorizes Potential Strike Against Anheuser-Busch, Maker of Bud Light

The Teamsters union declared on Saturday that 99% of its members had voted in favor of a potential strike at Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. breweries. The union is pushing for a new contract that will enhance wages, safeguard jobs, and ensure healthcare and retirement benefits for its 5,000 members across 12 Anheuser-Busch breweries. The current contract is set to expire on February 29, 2024.

“If Anheuser-Busch’s executives can’t negotiate an agreement that respects workers, we will see them out on the streets,” declared Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien in a statement over the weekend. Last month, the Bud Light maker reached a tentative agreement with the Teamsters to reinstate some healthcare benefits. However, the union accused the company of stalling talks on job security concerns since then.

“Anheuser-Busch can’t kick this can down the road much longer,” said Jeff Padellaro, an official with the Teamsters, in a statement. The Teamsters don’t want to be forced onto the picket line at any employer, but we are fully prepared to walk if Anheuser-Busch doesn’t get serious about negotiating a record contract that also protects good union jobs.”

According to the Teamsters’ news release, there are currently no scheduled dates for negotiations between the two parties. “Anheuser-Busch Teamsters recently rallied in New Hampshire, California, and Florida. More actions will take place soon across the country,” it said.

Anheuser-Busch has not issued a public comment on the matter. The Epoch Times has contacted the company for comment. The threat of a strike comes after the Teamsters reached an agreement with UPS over the summer to avert a possible strike.

The deal included pay increases and additional benefits for UPS Teamsters members. In a related development, Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Light has faced backlash over a promotional effort involving a transgender activist and influencer, leading to a boycott that affected the brand’s U.S. sales.

Amid the backlash, Anheuser-Busch InBev reported a significant drop in its U.S. revenue during the third quarter of 2023. Months before that, it was reported that Modelo Especial became the No. 1-selling beer in the United States, dethroning Bud Light from that spot for the first time in decades.

The company also announced leadership changes to facilitate its return to growth. Musician Kid Rock, who previously criticized Bud Light, stated he is no longer boycotting the brand, emphasizing that he hopes other companies learn from Bud Light’s mistakes.

Conservative commentator Matt Walsh, on the other hand, argued that the boycott against Bud Light should continue. “There is absolutely no legitimate reason to back away or let off the gas. They deserve everything that’s happened to them,” he said on social media.

The news article was created with information from Reuters.

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