PA State House of Representatives Passes Resolution Calling for Binding Arbitration to Settle Stalled Contract With Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board; Focus Now Shifts to the State Senate

    PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., June 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was issued
 today by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776:
 
     Faced with the unwillingness of the Ridge Administration to settle a
 contract for the employees of Pennsylvania's state-owned liquor stores, the
 United Food and Commercial Workers, representing approximately 3,000 state
 liquor store workers, has been lobbying the State House of Representatives and
 the State Senate for passage of a resolution calling on the Governor to agree
 to binding arbitration in order to settle a long-standing contract stalemate.
     The Ridge Administration has been insisting that the union must give up
 the contract's successor language, which would force anyone buying a
 privatized liquor store, to hire the store's workers under the conditions of
 their union contract.
     The House Intergovernmental Affairs Committee unanimously passed House
 Resolution 181 on Tuesday, June 12th.
     Following the Committee vote the measure was put before the entire House
 of Representatives for consideration.  The floor debate on the measure was
 held today, Tuesday, June 19, 2001.
     The House of Representatives passed House Resolution 181 by a vote of 195
 to 0, with 6 members excused at about 11:30 a.m. this morning.
     Wendell W. Young, III, President of UFCW Local 1776 and Chairman of the
 United Food and Commercial Workers State Store Organizing Committee, hailed
 the strong support for the resolution from both Republican and Democratic
 legislators.
     "The broad range of bi-partisan support H.R. 181 received in the House
 vote should send a strong message to the Governor that his demand for our
 Union members to give up their job security is falling on deaf ears," said
 Young. "The majority of the legislature, members of both political parties,
 has recognized that it is time for the Governor to settle a fair contract."
     The passage of the House Resolution means that action on the issue now
 shifts to the State Senate.  The Senate could either act on the House-passed
 measure, or it could take up the Senate version of the Resolution.
     With the focus now on the State Senate, President Young said the Union
 would be "turning up the pressure" in an effort to get the Senate to pass the
 resolution before the summer recess.
     "We are hopeful that the Senate will take action and pass the Resolution
 before the summer recess, so that we can see some action towards a fair
 contract settlement," he said.  "With that in mind, the UFCW will be
 concentrating our lobbying efforts on turning up the pressure on the State
 Senate for the rest of this month."
     Young noted that bi-partisan legislative support for the Union's position
 should be the rule, rather than the exception, since both resolutions, which
 are non-binding, allow legislators to express their concerns to the Governor
 about the sensitive issue of the stalled contract talks without getting
 directly involved in the collective bargaining process.
     "What we have told Legislators of both parties is that this is a win-win
 situation," he said.  "It is good for our PLCB members and it is good for the
 State for the Legislature to work with us and do whatever they can to help us
 get a fair contract settlement."
 
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SOURCE UFCW Local 1776

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