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UPS and the Teamsters union are bracing for a strike if the two sides fail to reach a contract agreement before August 1. The company has begun training its nonunion workers to take over in the event of a strike, and the Anderson Economic Group estimates just a 10-day UPS work stoppage could cost the U.S. economy $7.1 billion to become the costliest strike in American history.
Given the fulfillment company’s large footprint, consumers would undoubtedly have to adjust their shipping habits in the event of a UPS strike. CivicScience data suggest that a strong majority of U.S. online shoppers are likely to seek out online retailers that don’t use UPS in the event of a strike (69% reporting they’re at least ‘somewhat likely’ to do this with 30% claiming they’re ‘very likely’ to do so).
Adults earning over $100,000 report the highest levels of saying they’re ‘very likely’ to seek out other online retailers in the event of a strike (35%), along with adults aged 35-and-older. Somewhat surprisingly, given the tendency for union-supporting Americans to take their business elsewhere during active strikes, U.S. adults who oppose unions are far more likely to say they’re ‘very likely’ to seek out other retailers if UPS workers go on strike (46% compared to 28% of union supporters).
Besides consumers taking their business to other online retailers if UPS workers go on strike, businesses need to consider the chance they might significantly pull back from online shopping altogether. According to a separate CivicScience poll, online shoppers who say they’d be ‘less likely’ to shop online after a strike more than double those who say they’d be ‘more likely’ (27% versus 10%) – although the vast majority would be ‘just as likely’ to shop online (63%).
CivicScience will continue to monitor consumer behavior in the weeks leading up to a potential UPS strike. For even deeper insights into how this might impact your company, get in touch.