(PHILADELPHIA) –The following is a statement from Teamsters Local Union 830 Secretary-Treasurer Daniel H. Grace on the layoffs announced today by Pepsi:
“Our worst fears have been realized. Today, PepsiCo announced the devastating layoffs of 80 to 100 employees in Philadelphia as a direct result of the city’s onerous and discriminatory beverage tax.
“PepsiCo reported a staggering 43 percent drop in business in the city since January 1, 2017, the day the beverage tax went into effect. Canada Dry is also laying off 25 workers due to a sharp decline in sales because of the tax. Coca-Cola is planning a similarly bleak announcement in the near future. The carnage won’t end there.
“The Pennsylvania Merchants Association has already signaled that major layoffs of grocery store workers in the city are inevitable. This terrible news, although not surprising, is particularly disastrous for the members of Teamsters Local 830, who rely on a strong soda industry for their livelihoods.
“I cannot even begin to calculate the number of my members who now face unemployment as a result of today’s news. We predicted this dire outcome from the outset. We pleaded with City Council members and our fellow union brothers and sisters in Philadelphia to stand with us against this outrageous tax, but to no avail. I hope they can live with themselves after knowing that their actions led to the devastation of an industry in the city and the loss of so many family-sustaining jobs.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.