Fighting Against Seattle’s Job-Killing Beverage Tax

Welcome to the headquarters of Teamsters Local 174’s fight against the introduction of a tax on pre-sweetened and diet beverages in the City of Seattle. Check in here for regular updates, news, photos, and to learn what you can do to help.

 

 

BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

On February 21, 2017, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proposed a 2-cent-per-ounce tax on sugary beverages for the City of Seattle. On April 27, 2017, the proposed tax was lowered to 1.75-cents-per-ounce, but expanded to include diet beverages as well.

Similar taxes have already been implemented in several other major cities in the United States, most recently in Philadelphia, where a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on sugar-sweetened and diet beverages went into effect on January 1, 2017.

The effects of this tax have been disastrous for jobs in the Beverage industry in Philadelphia. According to the Principal Officer of Teamsters Local 830, Danny Grace, the effects have been:

  • Beverage companies as a whole have seen their sales decrease between 40%-54%
  • Pepsi Philadelphia has announced a first round of layoffs of between 80-100 employees.
  • Teamster commissioned salespersons for Pepsi have seen their weekly take home pay decrease between 50% to 70% due to lost sales in the market
  • Coca-Cola has initiated layoffs of approximately 30% of its work force in Philadelphia
  • Canada Dry/7-UP and Dr. Pepper has initiated layoffs of 35 employees

The tax proposed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray would be 1.75 cents per ounce, which is over 16% higher than the tax that went into effect in Philadelphia.

The Teamsters have been fighting hard against this tax on every front, including press conferences, news interviews, one-on-one meetings with members of the Seattle City Council, public comment during Seattle City Council meetings, producing an op-ed detailing our opposition to the tax, and more.

We will not stop fighting until this job-killing tax has been scrapped!

 

 

PHOTOS:

Beverage Tax Coalition Press Conference April 4, 2017

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Seattle City Council April 27, 2017

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Fighting the Beverage Tax at Seattle City Council May 3, 2017

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These photos are from:

Beverage Tax Coalition Press Conference — April 4, 2017

Seattle City Council Press Conference — April 27, 2017

Seattle City Council Meeting — May 3, 2017

 

 

HOW CAN I HELP?

You can help the cause by calling the Seattle City Council at 206-684-8888 and telling them to VOTE NO on the Beverage Tax.

Not sure what to say? Here are some sample scripts to read:

For Teamsters employed in the Beverage Industry
“My name is __________ and I am an employee at ___________. I am calling to voice my opposition to the proposed Beverage Tax. This type of tax has already proven itself to be a job killer in other cities. Good jobs like mine in the beverage industry, with good pay, benefits, and pensions, have been lost as a direct result of taxes on soda. I am afraid of what will happen to my job if this tax goes into effect. I can’t afford to lose my job! Please, please tell the Council to vote against this tax.”

For those not employed in the Beverage Industry
“I am calling to voice my opposition to the proposed Beverage Tax. This type of tax has already proven itself to be a job killer in other cities. Good beverage industry jobs with good pay, benefits, and pensions, have been lost as a direct result of taxes on soda. These are the types of jobs that the City Council should be working to protect, not destroy. You need to find another way to raise revenue that doesn’t place the burden on the backs of the people who can least afford it.”

 

 

PRESS COVERAGE AND LINKS:

 

Teamsters Local 174 Coverage of the Beverage Tax Fight:

Fighting the Beverage Tax: Martin Luther King County Labor Council Passes Resolution Against Beverage Tax

Fighting the Beverage Tax: Martin Luther King County Labor Council Passes Resolution Against Beverage Tax

  For Immediate Release May 22, 2017 MARTIN LUTHER KING COUNTY LABOR COUNCIL PASSES RESOLUTION AGAINST BEVERAGE TAX Resolution is an important step in fight against Seattle’s proposed beverage tax On Wednesday May 17, 2017, Teamsters Local 174 presented a Resolution before the Martin Luther King County Labor Council urging them to “Beware of the […]

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Fighting the Beverage Tax: Silenced Speeches for the Seattle City Council

Fighting the Beverage Tax: Silenced Speeches for the Seattle City Council

May 19, 2017 On Wednesday, May 17, 2017, the Seattle City Council met to take public comment on their proposed Beverage Tax. This tax, if implemented, would devastate jobs in the beverage industry in Seattle, just as it did to workers in the beverage industry in Philadelphia when a similar tax was implemented in January […]

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Fighting the Beverage Tax: Seattle City Council Meeting — May 3, 2017

Fighting the Beverage Tax: Seattle City Council Meeting — May 3, 2017

May 3, 2017 Today, the Seattle City Council held their first meeting that involved public comment on the proposed Beverage Tax. The Teamsters strongly oppose this tax because it is a demonstrated killer of good jobs — a similar-but-lower tax destroyed hundreds of Teamster jobs in Philadelphia, and we do not want to see the […]

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Fighting the Beverage Tax: Teamsters Back at City Hall

Fighting the Beverage Tax: Teamsters Back at City Hall

April 27, 2016 Teamsters Local 174 — along with representatives from Teamsters Local 117, Teamsters Joint Council 28, and members of the Seattle business community — showed up at City Hall in Seattle today to continue our fight against Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s proposed Beverage Tax. Mayor Murray held a press conference at 9:15 this morning to […]

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Fighting the Beverage Tax: You can’t fight obesity by killing jobs

Fighting the Beverage Tax: You can’t fight obesity by killing jobs

An Op-ed by Local 174 Secretary-Treasurer Rick Hicks The tax on sugar-sweetened beverages proposed by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is a disaster in waiting for local workers, businesses and families. On its surface, the tax may sound like a good idea: fighting the obesity epidemic while funding education at the same time – who wouldn’t […]

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Fighting the Beverage Tax: Press Conference on April 4, 2017

Fighting the Beverage Tax: Press Conference on April 4, 2017

April 4, 2017 Our fight against the proposed Sugar Tax continued yesterday, as the Teamsters participated in a press conference to announce a coalition of small business, labor, and immigrant groups who all oppose this two-cent-per-ounce proposed tax on pre-sweetened beverages within the City of Seattle. Teamsters Local 174 Business Agent Pete Lamb gave a […]

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Fighting the Beverage Tax: How has a Sugar Tax affected Philadelphia, and how could it affect Seattle?

Fighting the Beverage Tax: How has a Sugar Tax affected Philadelphia, and how could it affect Seattle?

March 29, 2017 On February 21, 2017, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray proposed a tax on sugary beverages for the City of Seattle. This tax, which would affect sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, pre-sweetened teas, coffees, and some fruit drinks, has already been implemented in several other major cities in the United States. One of the most […]

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