RL Lipton truck drivers and warehouse workers go on strike - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio


RL Lipton truck drivers and warehouse workers go on strike

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AUSTINTOWN, Ohio - The picket line heated up on Tuesday morning outside of R.L. Lipton Distributing on Victoria Road.

Striking Teamsters were slow to give way to security escorts for trucks leaving the terminal with replacement drivers at the wheel. At one point, a striker opened the passenger side door of one truck and shared a few words with the driver.

The 26 union members are striking over the lack of progress in negotiations on a new contract. They had been working without a contract since their previous agreement expired on May 31.

While a number of trucks did leave to make deliveries today, customers like Southway Beverage in Youngstown say a letter from Lipton advised of possible disruptions.

"There could be a disruption in service and to adjust your inventory accordingly. It happened so fast, we received the note yesterday and today they went on strike. There wasn't much time," says Southway Beverage owner Al Franceschelli.

Lipton is the distributor of Budweiser, Anheiser-Busch, Yengling and other beverages in Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana and Ashtabula Counties. 

Franceschelli is concerned because Budweiser is the biggest seller at his store.

"With the disruption of service, you're going to see a lot less bud on the shelves," he says.

The union would not give specifics on unresolved issues. The company is referring all media to a Cleveland law firm, but no calls for comment have returned.

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