Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show that Anheuser-Busch's parent company, AB InBev, posted nearly $58 billion in revenue in 2022.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced that members at Anheuser-Busch have voted to authorize a strike if the brewing company does not meet demands for a new contract. The vote received 99% approval.
Should the labor union and Anheuser-Busch fail to agree on a new contract by the upcoming Leap Day (February 29th), up to 5,000 workers across the company’s 12 breweries in the U.S. could go on strike.
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Negotiations have covered improved wages, protected jobs and healthcare and retirement benefits. Last month, the Teamsters and Anheuser-Busch reached a tentative agreement to end tiered health care and restore retiree health benefits.
However, the two sides have yet to find a resolution on job security issues. During the delay in these specific negotiations, the Teamsters asserted that Anheuser-Busch has ignored job protection as its parent company, AB InBev, posted nearly $58 billion in revenue in 2022 and announced $1 billion in stock buybacks to investors in 2023.
The threat of a strike follows a report that Anheuser-Busch’s parent company suffered a 10.5% revenue decline in the second quarter of 2023 compared to a year ago. The company cited a “volume decline of Bud Light” caused by a boycott that followed the brand’s partnership with a transgender influencer.
The director of the Teamsters’ Brewery, Bakery and Soft Drink Conference, Jeff Padellaro, said members are “fully prepared to walk if Anheuser-Busch doesn’t get serious about negotiating a record contract that also protects good union jobs.”
The Teamsters said there are no scheduled dates for further negotiations but mentioned that “more actions” would take place to complement rallies in California, New Hampshire and Florida.