A Beer Shortage for Fourth of July? Say It Ain’t So

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An ice bucket holding 3 bottles of beer.
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This Fourth of July, you may have to watch the fireworks without brand-name beer if a labor dispute among beer distributors isn’t resolved.

That could keep some beer brands from reaching eight counties in the region, including Chester County, writes Michael Tanenbaum for PhillyVoice.

Teamsters Local 830, representing the region’s three biggest beer distributors, voted Sunday to strike. That decision could limit supplies to area restaurants and beer sellers.

A proposed contract for workers from beer distributors Penn Beer, Origlio Beverage, and Muller Inc. was rejected 308 to 40. If a settlement isn’t reached, this would be the first time Local 830 has gone on strike.

Affected areas are Philadelphia, Delaware, Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton counties.

Penn Beer distributes brands that include Budweiser, Natural Light, Michelob, and Busch. Origlio distributes Corona, Coors, Blue Moon, Alagash, Heineken, and Guinness, among others. Muller’s brands include Miller Lite, Yards, and Pabst Blue Ribbon.

“The hardworking members of Teamsters Local 830 have had enough,” said the union’s Secretary-Treasurer, Daniel H. Grace. “The last contract proposal put forth by the Delaware Valley Importers Distribution Association was, quite frankly, insulting. Twelve-hour shifts for five or six consecutive days. That’s excessive.”

In response, the Delaware Valley Importing Distributors Association said in a statement it was shocked by the last-minute decision to authorize a strike and pointed out that the union’s own negotiating committee had unanimously agreed to accept a long-term package that included “the largest wage increase in our 50-plus-year history.”

The Association said it was boosting recruiting efforts to ease the demand on current workers and would continue talking with the union to reach an agreement.

Read more about a possible beer shortage from PhillyVoice.

NBC10 reports on the possible strike.

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