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Valley not yet affected by UPS strike

Holly Atchison

Though UPS Teamster workers across the nation have declared a strike, most Carson Valley businesses and offices have yet to take a major hit from the halt of deliveries.

Joyce Neddenriep, owner of Joyce’s Jewelry Gifts and Antiques in Gardnerville, said the strike has not affected her business yet, but most likely will if it continues into next week.

“Hopefully, it’ll be settled in the next week or so,” she said. “If it gets much longer, it will bother us. We have a number of orders coming in the next two weeks that we probably won’t get.”

This is the same story for many businesses in the area.

“As of now, it’s not affecting us, but we do have stuff on order that will probably be delayed,” said Lori Britton, owner of A Wildflower in Gardnerville. “We don’t get our flowers from them so it’s not major, but we do get supplies.”

“As of this point, it’s not affecting us severely, but as the days go on” she said. “We’re just going to have to wait it out.”

As for places depending on delivery of medical supplies, such as the East Fork Fire and Paramedic District and Valley pharmacies, these places are not depending on UPS for drugs and supplies in the immediate future.

“We don’t get much stuff on a regular basis,” said paramedic Ron Haskins. “We don’t get stuff everyday, probably just once a week.”

Payless Drug store pharmacy manager Rich Wickerham said they do not use UPS for pharmaceuticals. Instead, they rely on a private company.

“So far, we’re OK,” Wickerham said. “But the strike is on, and it may affect the warehouses.”

“We have a private carrier for pharmaceuticals,” said Steve Stratton of the Carson Valley Pharmacy. But, he said other types of merchandise will not be arriving while the strike is on.

Norman Starret, head of purchasing for Douglas County, said he knows of one package that hasn’t arrived yet because of the strike, but doesn’t know the overall effect it could have on the county.

“Right now, it’s probably too early to tell,” he said.

One business that has taken a hit from the strike is Nevada Sport Co.

Ted Pithoud, owner of the Gardnerville sporting goods store, said his business has suffered some loss already.

“It’s affecting us big time because I usually receive three to five packages a day and now I’m not getting any,” he said. “It’s a big deal for me.”

Though the halt of arriving merchandise such as soccer supplies, has not stopped customers from coming to his store, “it’s affecting them when they come in and I don’t have it,” Pithoud said.

Bob Wickman, manager at Radio Shack in Gardnerville, said the store has not been caught without merchandise yet. But the possibility is there.

“All the merchandise comes in through UPS and we’re also a UPS shipping counter,” he said. “Some of the orders will be delayed, although Radio Shack is attempting to find other means of delivery.

“People have come in to ship, but have been told about the delays. UPS is not picking up any packages. All they’re trying to do is deliver what is in the system. That’s what we’ve been told.”

As for Mail Boxes Etc. in the Gardnerville Ranchos, another UPS shipping center, manager Larry Ficken said packages are simply being sent by other carriers.

“We’re sending more postal than normal,” he said. “Everything has been fine so far. Federal Express is now able to send more packages.”

Ficken said Federal Express was bombarded Monday and has been able to catch up by now. They have placed a four-package limit on each customer.

He said Federal Express usually handles two million packages a day compared to UPS’ 12 million.

As of 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, no negotiations had been made to end the strike, according to a recording from the UPS headquarters. The company is operating on a contingency basis, involving non-Teamster employees and managers, and is working to move critical packages such as medical and pharmaceutical supplies and international parcels and packages.