The nationwide industry lock-out of Teamsters that began yesterday will have a negligible impact on truck delivery services in the Washington area, according to food store and hospital managers who usually depend on such deliveries.
Unless the lockout is an extended one, officials say, grocery items and hospital supplies will remain available to area residents. Some food chains and hospitals have said the labor dispute will have absolutely no effect on their operations.
"Our hospital administrator already warned us to stock up a monnth ago," said Ralph Fuller, a spokesman for the George Washington University Medical Center. "Most of our deliveries are from the Teamsters, and wer were trying to have enough foresight to be okay."
Herb Whiteside, spokesman for A&P Food Sotes, said earlier this week that his company "has made some provisions" for a strike or lockout involving the Teamsters.
"We have direct carrier service from the warehouse to the stores, and we receive a lot of our items by rail, so I don't think it will be a real problem for us less it lasts a long time," Whiteside said.
Douglas Marchant, an industrial relations specialist with the Labor Department said food stores in the area will be "in good shape" as long as they have a good supply of food and other grocery items in their warehouses.
Several hospitals in the area began stockpiling supplies at the first hint of labor troubles a few weeks ago, according to various hospital administors.
Carla Wright, assistant director of public affairs for Arlington Hospital, said supplies used in high volume like bandages or critical items such as intravenous solution are being stored up in case of future delivery problems.
At the Washington Hospital Center, spokeswoman Jane Snyder said Teamsters went out on a "sympathy strike" for the nurses last spring and "and it didn't affect our delvieries then. I don't expect it will now. We just told our suppliers that it was up to them to make the deliveries, and they did."