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Potential UPS Strike Threatens Supply Chains, Warns RILA

Stalled negotiations between UPS and Teamsters union could reignite supply chain woes

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The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) has expressed concern over the stalled negotiations between UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Union, warning that the impasse could put supply chains and the entire economy at risk. The current five-year contract between the two parties is set to expire on July 31. Retailers have been setting up alternatives in anticipation of potential disruptions, but RILA states that these measures will not fully mitigate the impact of a shutdown of a key supply chain component, especially as the back-to-school and holiday shopping seasons approach.

Labor and logistics experts have suggested that a strike by UPS workers is increasingly likely due to ongoing disagreements around pay and benefits. RILA has urged for a swift resolution to avoid a repeat of the economic and consumer harm caused by supply chain bottlenecks and delays experienced during the pandemic. UPS is also preparing for potential disruptions by training managers to deliver packages in the event of a strike. However, the union has expressed doubts about the company's ability to train enough people to avoid disruption.

The potential UPS strike could disrupt consumer expectations during a surge in e-commerce and complicate retailers' preparations for crucial shopping seasons. RILA emphasized the critical role of UPS in ensuring timely delivery of essential goods and described uncertainty as "kryptonite for supply chains."

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