Multiple strike threats looming

Unions are fighting to increase worker pay
Unions are fighting to increase worker pay
Published: Jul. 14, 2023 at 6:25 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - United Parcel Service workers are preparing to strike and it could cost the economy billions of dollars, potentially one of the costliest strikes in a century.

Package delivery workers are planning to hit the picket lines if a deal is not approved when their contract expires, but UPS workers aren’t the ones preparing to go on strike this year. Hollywood actors and writers are already picketing and industry experts believe a strike is around the corner for auto workers.

Research shows the threatened strike by 340,000 members of the teamsters union will cause lost wages for workers, lost earnings to UPS, and disrupt people shipping packages across the country.

“It’s just a very unfortunate scenario anytime there’s a major stoppage of work due to contract negotiation,” said Tyler Theile.

Theile, with Anderson Economic Group, said the economy has been tight and tensions have been high for certain industries since the pandemic hit in 2020.

“In a lot of ways we’re recovering, in other ways we’re not recovering,” said Theile.

Leading to strikes across the country. Workers from the United Auto Workers, the Teamsters Union and the actors and writers unions in Hollywood are either preparing to strike or already out on the picket lines. They are fighting for better pay, better wages, and other workplace issues.

“Whether you’re a union worker or you’re in a role that is not unionized, I think either way it plays a very important part in our economy,” said Theile.

“We are in one of the tightest labor markets that we’ve seen really in the last 30 years. Unions feel they are in a fairly good negotiating position,” said Jason Miller.

Michigan State Supply Chain Management expert Jason Miller said we’re coming off the highest inflation in 40 years, which is why unions are fighting to increase worker pay.

“Making up for any real income that may have been lost over the past two years,” said Miller.

“Obviously the hope is that they can come to an agreement before their deadline,” said Theile.

All sides are hoping to avoid disruption that has the potential of hurting workers and their companies.

Workers who go on strike won’t be getting a paycheck, however unions will likely step in to provide strike pay, money to help pay bills while they’re on the picket lines. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, last year there were 23 major strikes and lockouts, putting more than 120,000 people out of work.

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