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UPS Strike Could be Costliest in U.S. in a Century, Study Says

It could top $7 billion for a 10-day work stoppage

A threatened U.S. strike at United Parcel Service could be "one of the costliest in at least a century," topping $7 billion for a 10-day work stoppage, a think tank specializing in the economic impact of labor actions said on Thursday.

That estimate from Michigan-based Anderson Economic Group (AEG) includes UPS customer losses of $4 billion and lost direct wages of more than $1 billion. A 15-day UPS strike in 1997 disrupted the supply of goods, cost the world's biggest parcel delivery firm $850 million and sent some customers to rivals like FedEx.

Roughly 340,000 union-represented UPS workers handle about a quarter of U.S. parcel deliveries and serve virtually every city and town in the nation. A strike could delay millions of daily deliveries, including orders, electronic components and lifesaving prescription drugs, shipping experts warned. They added this also could reignite supply-chain snarls that stoke inflation.

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