(SEATTLE) – After conversations with several key suppliers and retailers, the Teamsters decided to postpone any strike activity that would have halted the supply of beer, wine and liquor to stores, bars and restaurants throughout the Puget Sound area.
“We’ve had productive conversations with several of Columbia’s key business partners,” said Rick Hicks, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 174, which represents 360 drivers and warehouse workers at Columbia Distributing in Kent, Wash. “None of Columbia’s customers – the breweries, wineries, distilleries, stores, restaurants and bars – want a labor dispute because they would all lose significant business. We’ve decided to give them some time to weigh in with Columbia but our members will only wait so long.”
Columbia Distributing, the Pacific Northwest’s largest distributor of beer, wine and liquor products, continues to refuse to return to the bargaining table after abruptly walking away two weeks ago.
“Columbia continues to abdicate its legal obligation to negotiate with the Teamsters,” said Hicks. ““We postponed action temporarily because we take seriously the impact a strike would have on local businesses – period.”
Meanwhile Columbia continues to maintain its illegal Last, Best and Final offer.
Hicks continued, “If Columbia cares about its customers or its employees, the company will withdraw its illegal proposal and continue bargaining in good faith until an agreement is reached.”
Columbia Distributing distributes Coors, Miller, Heineken, Mac & Jack’s, Georgetown, Pabst, Corona, Modelo, Pacifico, Victoria, New Belgium, Deschutes, Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas, Fremont, Full Sail / Session, and more than 1,800 other alcoholic products throughout the greater Puget Sound area.