No talks set in Lipton strike

AUSTINTOWN – A beer truck driven by a non-union worker in place of striking Austintown Teamsters was left abandoned Thursday at a Brookfield drive-thru.

A police officer who was called to investigate reports of someone drinking and driving instead found a locked and abandoned Bud Light truck at the Penn-Ohio Drive Thru in Brookfield.

The officer said he contacted the truck’s owner, R.L. Lipton Distributors, to pick up the truck.

Leaders at Teamsters Local 377 said the company has brought in replacement workers in an attempt to distribute to the regular routes.

A clerk at the store said the truck was driven to the business on a beer delivery. It remained there for several hours until someone picked it up.

A message left after hours seeking comment with a company spokesman Thursday was not immediately returned.

Local president Rich Sandberg said the driver was a non-union worker.

Sandberg said no new talks have been scheduled in a strike involving about 23 truck drivers and warehouse workers at the Victoria Road beverage distributor.

Workers walked off the job Tuesday saying they have been working without a contract all month, and are disputing wages and health care benefits.

An Austintown police dispatcher said police there have received no reports of problems at the picket line.