Turzai leads push to dismantle PA's Wine and Spirits Stores

Eliminating thousands of jobs and millions in revenue for PA

11 Feb, 2015, 16:27 ET from UFCW Local 1776

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., Feb. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Wendell W. Young IV issued the following statement today in wake of the reintroduction of liquor privatization legislation by House Speaker Mike Turzai, a reckless proposal to dismantle the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) and jeopardize thousands of family-sustaining jobs:

"It is disappointing that we're going backwards on this issue. This legislation was debated for the last four years. Our former governor and the privateers wasted millions of dollars and untold hours trying to dismantle this valuable public asset. It's time for lawmakers to work together to modernize this profitable asset to make an even stronger revenue generator for Pennsylvania."

Added Young, "Modernization would generate at least $185 million of new profit in one year after enactment and the revenue would grow annually thereafter. Our state is confronting a $2.3 billion deficit and the PLCB can help to close this hole in our state budget. Selling profitable, revenue-generating public assets is irresponsible and will worsen our budget deficit."

Despite the spin from the privateers, privatizing the PLCB is a losing proposition for Pennsylvania taxpayers. Gov. Corbett's own study, conducted by Public Financial Management (PFM), concluded that privatization would result in an estimated $1.4 billion in transition costs over five years.

PFM also estimated that the state would have to come up with $408 million in new revenue annually to make privatization fiscally neutral. Finally, PFM concludes 2,302 full-time equivalent employees would lose their job and go on unemployment.

"There is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Thousands of our fellow Pennsylvanians will lose their jobs and taxpayers will be left holding the bag," Young said.

Rep. Gene DiGirolamo has introduced House Bill 228 which would modernize the PLCB to improve customer convenience and generate more revenue for the Commonwealth. This legislation would:

  1. Remove Sunday Sales Limitation on Store Openings and Hours of Operation: Removes the 25 percent cap on percentage of stores allowed to open Sundays and allows convenient hours of operation for the Sunday consumer.
  2. Pricing/Customer Relations Management: Allows the PLCB to use best retail pricing practices to secure the very best price for the customer. In addition, this legislation would remove the statutory limitations on loyalty programs.
  3. Right-Locating Fine Wine and Good Spirits Stores: Recommends the PLCB look at right-locating Fine Wine and Good Spirits Stores to help enhance consumer convenience. The PLCB should look to expedite the process of re-locating stores to more convenient and consumer-heavy locations to provide Pennsylvania consumers more accessibility to stores.
  4. Expedited Review of PLCB Leases by the Department of General Services: Mandates a 45-day review window on all leases approved by the Department of General Services. Proper location of PLCB stores for the benefit of customer convenience would take place in several months rather than years.
  5. Direct Shipment of Wine and Spirits: Permits Pennsylvania residents to receive shipments of wine and spirits in Pennsylvania and also permit the PLCB to ship out of state.
  6. Lottery Sales: Enables the PLCB to work with the PA Lottery to place self-attended lottery machines in more than 600 new outlets for the benefit of the consumer and the enhanced revenue for lottery programs.
  7. Consortium Product Buying: Allows the PLCB to take the lead in joining some of the other 18 control states, like Michigan, Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire, in buying product in unified fashion to help secure the very best price for the PA consumer on the PLCB store shelf.

UFCW Local 1776 represents 24,000 members who work in southeast, northeast and central Pennsylvania and southern New York in supermarkets, drug stores, food processing plants, government services, manufacturing facilities, nursing homes, professional offices and Pennsylvania's Wine and Spirits Stores.

United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 1776

Wendell W. Young, IV   

Michele Kessler  

Barbara Johnson

President

Secretary-Treasurer

Recorder 

Main Office: 3031-A Walton Rd. Plymouth Meeting, PA  19462 - toll-free: 1-866-329-1776
Northeast PA Office: 2007 Highway 315, Pittston, PA  18640 - toll-free: 1-800-635-6994
Harrisburg Office: 150 South 43rd St., Room 214, Harrisburg, PA  17111 - toll free:1-800-332-9421
Central PA Office: 3161 Chambersburg Rd., Biglerville, PA  17307 - toll-free: 1-800-332-9421

SOURCE UFCW Local 1776