HIDA and scores business organizations are raising concerns about the disruptions that would occur in a walk-out.
The Aug. 1 strike threatened by 340,000 United Parcel Services workers would quickly and adversely affect medical supply chains, the Health Industry Distributors Association is warning.
HIDA was one of scores business organizations from across the nation that signed a letter sent Friday to President Joe Biden, raising concerns about the disruptions to the economy that would occur if the rank-and-file workers leave the job.
"UPS is a vital lifeline for America, moving between 5% and 6% of U.S. GDP, or $3.8 billion in goods, per day," the letter states. "America also relies on critical medical deliveries enabled by the predictability and reliability of the UPS network, such as vaccines, medical devices, and life-saving medication."
"A strike would lead to months-long backlogs in the supply chain and the interruption of deliveries of critical medical supplies and other essential items."
The letter cites a study estimating that a 15-day UPS strike would harm the health and safety of U.S. consumers by $55.5 billion; even a 5-day strike at UPS, by this account, would harm the country by $15.8 billion – or $3.7 billion per day.
HIDA President / CEO Matthew J. Rowan says in a media release that "the potential impact on healthcare is very real,"
"The supply chain relies on small parcel delivery to get supplies to patients in their homes, doctors' offices, first responders, and clinics," he says. "We strongly urge the parties and the Biden administration to avoid a work stoppage at all costs."
UPS and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters severed negotiations on July 5, at loggerheads over issues that include wage hikes for experienced part-time workers who make up about half of UPS' unionized workforce.
The two sides said this week that they would resume talks on July 25 after UPS announced that it was "prepared to increase our industry-leading pay and benefits, but need to work quickly to finalize a fair deal that provides certainty for our customers, our employees and businesses across the country."
Bloomberg cites estimates that a strike would cost UPS about $170 million a day. Reuters reports that 28 U.S. senators and 178 U.S. representatives have said they will not to intervene if a strike takes place.
John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.
UPS and the Teamsters ended talks on July 5, at loggerheads over wage hikes for experienced part-time workers who make up about half of UPS' unionized workforce.
The two sides said this week that they would resume talks on July 25 after UPS announced that it was 'prepared to increase our industry-leading pay and benefits.'