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Teamsters reach agreement on UPS contract

Holly Atchison

After 16 days of a work stoppage, UPS and Teamsters have reached a tentative agreement.

The negotiations were conducted Monday night and may put an end to the strike which began August 4.

The news of the agreement has Valley merchants thankful it will soon be business as usual.

“I’ll be glad when everything’s back to normal,” said Roxanne Stangle, owner of Tumblewind in Minden. “You forget how much you depend on an every day service and how much you take it for granted when it’s not there so it’ll be a big relief for us.”

“I’m glad it’s over, hopefully,” said Ray Lummus, co-owner of Draperies by Lummus in Gardnerville. “I know there’s another business in town, and the guy who owns it is on a two-day trip to get supplies to keep the store open. We were about to do that this weekend.

“That’s a very expensive proposition to take time away from your business, but when you’re a small business, you have no choice. You either do that or close your doors.”

Stangle said two weddings were held up due to the tuxedos being caught in the UPS system and Federal Express system. This was the only real affect the strike had on the clothing store, she said.

“I think we got off pretty lucky compared to a lot of businesses,” she said.

Perhaps luckier than Draperies by Lummus which relies on frequent fabric shipments to custom make their products.

“Everything we do is custom, so we don’t have anything on the shelf to sell. We either make it ourselves with fabric you get via UPS or it’s custom window shades we get UPS,” Lummus said. “We haven’t been able to get any fabric shipments. Jobs have been held up which of course doesn’t help your cash flows. Some of our shades have also been held up and certain kinds of supplies to do the work with is getting pretty low.”

The strike affected NAPA Auto Parts in Gardnerville to some degree, said owner Robert Simpson. Though most parts are delivered by their own trucks, special order items that were not from the three main warehouses could not be received.

Though UPS is claiming regular delivery of packages should resume by today, Simpson has doubts.

“I think there’s going to be a huge back log,” Simpson said. “It’ll be a few months before everything is washed out and delivered where it’s supposed to be.”