UFCW Urges Lawmakers to Focus on Facts and Reject Corbett Spin

Wendell W. Young, IV issued the following statement today regarding the introduction of House Bill 790, Gov. Corbett’s misguided scheme to jeopardize as many as 5,000 family-sustaining jobs and put a retail alcohol outlet on every street corner:

“This is bad public policy that reflects a Governor who is completely out of touch with the very citizens he was elected to represent.  This bill, introduced by Mike Turzai, would cost the state thousands of jobs; would jeopardize more than 1,100 small businesses and their employees; and would create as many as 30,000 retail outlets for the sale of beer, wine or spirits on every corner in our neighborhoods.  It’s absurd.”

Young said that Gov. Corbett’s public comments on the legislation make it clear that he has decided to ignore his own research in an effort to mislead Pennsylvanians.

“The Governor says that our members will have a smooth transition, and Mike Turzai says that jobs won’t be lost.  But the Governor’s Public Financial Management study shows that the equivalent of 2,000 PLCB workers will be put on the unemployment line,” Young said.  “The Governor says the state will realize a $1 billion windfall, but PFM told him that the transition costs will total at least $1.4 billion.”

Young also urged lawmakers not to fall for Turzai’s bait and switch tactics and be prepared to reject all proposals that would dismantle the PLCB.

“Mike Turzai made it clear today that he wants to tear apart this public asset anyway he can. He is going to try and sneak a bill through the committee before the public can have any say, before lawmakers can have any input,” Young said. “This is the same game that Tom Corbett played with our lottery and it won’t work.”

Young urged lawmakers to convene public hearings to study the on-going privatization debacle in Washington State and to review carefully the PFM report.

“Mike Turzai and Tom Corbett can ignore the facts if they want to, but privatization doesn’t work.  Prices will go up.  Selection and convenience in rural areas, especially will suffer because that is exactly what’s happened in every other state that has gone down this path,” Young said.  “And the state will lose money – because that’s what always happens under privatization.”

UFCW Local 1776 and Local 23 represent 3,500 employees in the PA Wine & Spirits shops.  More than 40,000 UFCW members live in Pennsylvania.

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