Another major beer company faces calls for a boycott

The beer brands under beverage company Molson Coors  (TAP.A) may soon get the Bud Light treatment.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters is calling for consumers to boycott the company, which owns popular beer brands such as Miller Lite, Blue Moon and Coors Lite, amid March Madness season after it failed to reach an agreement with union workers over a wage increase.

Teamsters is representing about 420 workers at a Molson Coors’ brewery in Texas who have been on strike since Feb. 17 after the beverage company offered workers less than $1 per hour in wage increases when negotiating a new three-year contract.

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Last week, after striking for 41 days, the union workers returned to negotiating with the company over a new contract where they were still unable to settle on an agreement. They were offered only an additional 5 cents per hour on top of the company’s original offer of a 99 cents per hour wage increase in February.

“Molson Coors brought in $12 billion last year, and they have the nerve to sit across from us at the bargaining table and offer workers who made them that money a nickel more in wages. We can’t even call this an offer — it’s spitting in the face of each of the 420 Teamsters in Texas who make this company and its executives obscenely wealthy,” said Jeff Padellaro, director of the Teamsters Brewery, Bakery, and Soft Drink Conference, in a press release.

The union also claims in the press release that it “will be out in full force” in Texas cities, Detroit, Boston, etc., to ask consumers to boycott Molson Coors beer brands during the March Madness season.

The union even reportedly wrote a letter to Congress last week urging lawmakers to participate in its boycott of Molson Coors products and encouraged them to instead buy beer from Anheuser-Busch, which owns Bud Light, calling it an employer “who treat their employees fairly,” according to Fox Business.

Coors beer is displayed on a store shelf on Feb. 13, 2024 in San Rafael, Calif.

Justin Sullivan&solGetty Images

Late last year, Anheuser-Busch faced a similar labor dispute with its unionized workers. In December, thousands of Anheuser-Busch union workers across the U.S. voted to authorize a strike if the company failed to agree on a “stronger new contract” to replace the one that was set to expire on Feb. 29. The workers also accused Anheuser-Busch of delaying negotiations on “important job security issues” since mid-November.

Anheuser-Busch eventually reached a tentative agreement with its union workers on Feb. 28 which provided them with an increase in pay, improved health care and retirement benefits, and critical job security.

A boycott of Molson Coors could spell trouble for the company during a critical season in basketball.

Last year, consumers showed the beverage industry just how much a boycott can drain a company’s pockets. Bud Light faced a boycott from consumers, which started in April, shortly after the beer brand featured Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender social media influencer, in one of its social media campaigns promoting a $15,000 giveaway.

The boycott resulted in Bud Light losing its spot as the top-selling beer brand in the United States, and Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. earnings later plummeted by hundreds of millions of dollars.

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