Teamsters, Anheuser-Busch reach tentative deal to avoid strike

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Anheuser-Busch and the Teamsters union reached a tentative deal on Wednesday to avoid a potential strike.

The Budweiser brewer and Teamsters each announced the tentative five-year agreement on Wednesday, which the union said would “significantly” raise pay, improve health care and retirement benefits and provide job security for 5,000 of its union members across the United States. The union had threatened to strike if a new five-year agreement was not reached by 11:59 p.m. EST Thursday.

Teamsters said there will be wage increases of $8 per hour, which include a $4 per hour raise in the first year of the agreement.

“Teamsters make the beer, Teamsters make Anheuser-Busch successful, and our members deserve the best contract. That is what we fought for and won today,” Teamsters General President Sean O’Brien said in a statement

“Anheuser-Busch knew our members were serious and prepared to do whatever it would take to get a fair agreement. After a long day and a longer campaign, we’ve reached an agreement that sets a new high standard for the brewing industry,” he added.

The tentative agreement also includes a $2,500 ratification bonus for each member, increased vacation time accruals and the restoration of retirement benefits for active and retired members.

Teamsters noted that the agreement will be shared with its members before the ratification vote that is expected next week. Anheuser-Busch said the agreement will impact union employees at 12 of its breweries nationwide.

“At Anheuser-Busch, we have said time and again that our people are our greatest strength, and we are incredibly pleased to have reached a tentative agreement that continues to recognize the talent, dedication, and hard work of our teams, while also positioning the Company for long-term success,” Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth said in a statement.

“As America’s leading brewer, we have the best people and provide the best jobs in the beer industry, and together we are focused on what we do best: brewing great beer for everyone, showing up in the moments that matter for our consumers, and making a positive impact in our communities across the country,” he added.

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