Union Supports Keeping Pa. Liquor Sales Public

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — With Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner appearing before the House Liquor Control Committee Wednesday to argue against privatizing Pennsylvania liquor sales, the largest union representing state liquor store employees is throwing its support behind him.

Wendell Young IV, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), Local 1776, tells Robert Mangino that any existing problems lie with lawmakers’ mishandling of liquor funds, not with the system itself.

Mangino asks Young how privatizing would affect Pennsylvania’s revenue, as well as who would benefit the most from removing sales from state control.

Some see the home delivery as a move to stave off talks of privatization. Wagner argues privatization would turn sales over to big-box stores.

“Costco has approximately 170 products that they sell – 170 products of wine and spirits,” Wagner said. “A typical state liquor store has 2,500 products that it sells, so the selection and the availability to the customer will also be harmed.”

“You go into state stores throughout this state – there’s a few that have diverse selection, but not many,” State Rep. Mike Turzai, R-Bradford Woods, said.

He says that not only will selection improve with privatization, but also the prices will be better as well.

“He doesn’t want to see this particular union not be in place with a controlled state store system – that’s what he’s ultimately trying to protect here,” Turzai said.

Turzai expects the full House to approve privatization before the end of the year. The bill will go to the state Senate early next year.

  • Mayor of GBD

    Imagine that! A Union fighting progress.

    • Word

      Politicians designing “progress” deserves a fight. Progress of merit often comes from the bottom up, and who better to judge than the customers and the store employees.

    • Hwright

      Please tell me whats wrong with the system the way it is???????

      • james

        Buying alcohol from the state?

        Board will likely finish FY 2010–11 with a negative retained earnings for the second year in a row. This is what communism looks like! Let business be owned by the people.

      • Hleft

        A : It’s run by Large Government which has no business in the liquor business.

  • Word

    for those having purchased liquor in states like New Jersey, the Carolinas, Georgia and many of the southern states which feature private stores you will agree that the prices are as high and higher in resort areas, the stores are small, crowded and feature a limited selection…. Our bright, big, fully stocked stores are just fine. “Don’t fix it if it ain’t broken!”

  • News worthy?

    Does anyone really care what the Unions think?

    • Hwright

      Its not just a UNION thing! This is state revenue being sold again to CORPROCRACY! This state and our entire government has a REVENUE issue!

      • James

        I think you mean Corporatocracy… And that is used mainly for multi-national companies like Monsanto, and Exxon… Not the possibility of local mom and pop liquor shops opening in localized Pennsylvania.

      • News worthy?

        What revenue?

      • against unions

        Did you read the headline: UNION SUPPORTS KEEPING PA LIQUOR STORES PUBLIC, it may not be a union thing but they support it.
        Don’t they LOSE REVENUE, who’s running this state the union, why are they union in the first place, their not negotiating with a corporation at least not yet.

  • Zoeyzotron

    why in the world is a union needed for this job anyway. its a cashier’s/stock room job. It should not pay anymore than Target or Macy’s.

    • james


    • Lame

      everyone should make less than you do

      I get your point….

  • Critter

    Get rid of this garbage

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