Teamsters vote to ratify a 5-year labor agreement with Anheuser-Busch, avoiding strike


ST. LOUIS (AP) — Teamsters working for Budweiser brewer Anheuser-Busch on Tuesday voted to ratify a labor agreement with the company, the union said.

The five-year contract was ratified with 86% support, the Teamsters said.

The deal covers 5,000 unionized employees at Anheuser-Busch, including brewers, packagers, and warehouse workers, and provides wage increases totaling 23% over the life of the contract, plus a $2,500 ratification bonus, the union said. It also improves health care and retirement benefits, and job security, the union said.

The Teamsters had threatened a strike at the brewer’s 12 U.S. plants if an agreement on a new five-year contract wasn’t reached by last week. Before the deadline, the two sides said they had reached a tentative agreement that was put to union members for a ratification vote.

Anheuser-Busch shipments to U.S. wholesalers dropped 13.8% last year, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights. Overall, U.S. beer shipments were down 5%.

The company, part of Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev, brews more than a dozen brands at its U.S. plants, including Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois.

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