Teamsters Fight Soda Tax In Philadelphia; Legal Action Says Tax Hurts Workers

Posted On: 7/6/2016

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TAGS: International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Philadelphia Teamster, Daniel Grace, Philadelphia soda tax, vending

LAS VEGAS -- Teamsters from Philadelphia and nationwide resolved at the union's recent 29th International Convention here to oppose soda taxes that they say hurt good jobs in the beverage industry. Daniel Grace, secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 830 in Philadelphia, proposed the motion to pass a resolution against unfair beverage taxes that put people out of work.

"These taxes are harmful to workers, small grocers and the city's poor," Grace said. "The tax that the City Council passed in Philadelphia will go to fund the city's pet projects at the expense of our workers and economy. We are continuing the fight against this unfair, regressive tax in court. Our fight is not over."

Philadelphia recently became the first major city with a soda tax of 1.5¢ per fluid ounce on sugary and diet beverages. | SEE STORY

"They spent years trying to push through this tax that targets one industry over another, and it's the workers that will suffer as a result," Grace said. "Our City Council's job isn't to raise revenue on the backs of workers. It's a disgrace."

Thousands of Teamster delegates from across North America gathered in Las Vegas in late June for the union's convention. Delegates passed a soda tax resolution that states, in part, "...delegates here assembled commit to protect the jobs of our working families by demanding that any soda tax proposal include measures to address the potential adverse impact upon our members, and that if the proponents refuse to address the unfair impact upon our members, we are duty bound to oppose and defeat the proposal."

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents blue-collar and professional workers in both the public and private sectors. The union had approximately 1.3 million members in 2013.