Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bad spirits: Corbett's attack on state liquor stores

Philly JwJ extern Allison Roseberry-Polier reports!

As state budget crises continue nation-wide, state governments are looking for new cuts and new scapegoats. Particularly as new governors and state legislators come into office, attacks on unions, especially those in the public-sector, are rising. Incoming Wisconsin Republican governor Scott Walker is threatening to prohibit state workers from unionizing. Ohio’s new Republican governor wants to take away the right of public school teachers to strike. Even Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is proposing a one-year pay freeze for public workers. Across the country, workers are under attack.

Pennsylvania is no exception. Incoming Republican Governor Tom Corbett is proposing to save $2 billion by privatizing state liquor sales. It is not the first time that Pennsylvania government has made such a proposal. Governors in the 1970s, ‘80s, and ‘90s have tried and failed to end state ownership of wine and liquor shops. Corbett, however, has the advantage of having both the state House and Senate in Republican hands. Corbett has no reservations about capitalizing on the current fiscal crisis in order to attack a state-run system that maintains fair working standards and consistently generates much-needed revenue for the state.

United Food and Commercial Workers are fighting back to save their jobs. In an Inquirer op-ed this week, UFCW Local 1776 President Wendell W. Young IV explained that the state system currently “provides 4,500 family-sustaining, tax-generating jobs held by Pennsylvanians. The alternative, under privatization, would be part-time jobs with no benefits.”

Corbett is joining the nation-wide trend of busting unions and good jobs in the name of closing budget gaps. We must prevent Corbett and his allies from succeeding.

Take action! Let the media know that working Pennsylvanians want to keep good jobs by keeping wine and spirits shops state-run. Vote NO on PCN TV's poll about privatization!

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