Privatization of services that are currently provided through public authorities has been advocated as an alternative delivery system. Privatization has been proposed for transportation systems, publicly funded construction, prisons, and trash collection among other services. The track record on privatization, where tried, has shown a consistent pattern of being anti-union, providing unsafe working conditions, exposing the public to dangers, paying lower wage scales, deleting benefits and undermining services while “creaming” off profitable parts of the services. Typically, privatizers place first year “low ball” bids to win contracts and then strangle governmental bodies as they become dependent on the provider.
Wine & Spirits
One of the primary targets of privatization over the last 25 years has been the PLCB Wine and Spirit Stores. These shops contributed more than $512 million to the state treasury last fiscal year, including more than $100 million in profits and a record in sales of nearly $2.2 billion.
Privatization of state liquor stores has the potential to create more than 13,000 retail outlets for alcohol sales, which would dramatically increase alcohol abuse and consumption by minors, threatening the safety of our communities.
The current system supports 5,000 family-sustaining jobs that would all be eliminated with privatization, forcing many of those workers into unemployment or into taking a job that does not pay a living wage or provide any type of retirement security. Despite the above, the administration has tried to force privatization legislation through the General Assembly.
We oppose all legislation that would dismantle the PLCB Wine and Spirit Stores.
The Pennsylvania Lottery is the only lottery system in the United States of America that dedicates 100% of proceeds to programs that benefit the elderly. Since 1972, the Pennsylvania Lottery has generated more than $22.6 billion in funding for programs that help older Pennsylvanians.
Recently, there have been attempts to sell our state lottery off to a foreign company, which would take away proceeds from senior citizens, lining the pockets of executives and their private firms. The lottery brings in billions of dollars for senior centers, long-term living services, low-cost prescription drugs, and more every year—money our seniors need as we continue our recovery from the Great Recession.
We oppose any effort to sell the lottery that benefits many of our elderly Pennsylvanians to either foreign or domestic special interests.
For decades, the Pennsylvania Turnpike has served as a primary national transportation link that has promoted interstate commerce and our Commonwealth’s economy. Findings of an independent analysis have shown that the Turnpike is worth $26.5 billion as a public asset but only $14.8 billion if it were privatized. Privatization would risk losing this vital public asset to control by profit-driven enterprises, including those who are foreign-based that would subject its 1,770 Pennsylvania workers, and countless motorists and other business to profiteering and unfair labor practices.
Mental Health Services
There have recently been attempts to privatize and outsource psychological services offered in state correctional facilities. We believe that mental health services are part of the core functions of government and should not be sold off to the highest bidder. Private companies will not have to follow Civil Service rules, resulting in a reduction of prison personnel that will put the public at risk. Corporations should not be able to profit off of the psychological services in our prisons.
Stay Up To Date On The Fight Against Privatization
2016 marks the end of another two-year session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly. The 2015-16 legislative session had both successes and setbacks for Pennsylvania’s working people. Due to an incredible act of cooperation and collaboration between Labor leaders and legislators, progress was made in partially fixing the state’s unemployment compensation system. Read More
Pennsylvania AFL-CIO leaders denounce bill as anti-worker and ideologically driven by misguided legislative leaders bent on privatizing the jobs of public workers.
Harrisburg (June 8, 2016) – In a strong statement of disappointment, the top elected leaders of Pennsylvania’s labor movement today issued statements denouncing the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passage of HB1690 expanding state wine sales to private retailers. Read More
Negotiations continue over the details of a budget compromise announced a few weeks ago.
The State House approved a Liquor Privatization bill that is virtually identical to the bill vetoed by Governor Wolf in June. It is expected that this bill – House Bill 1690 – will be used to privatize liquor as part of the budget negotiations. Read More
Vote will blow a huge hole in the budget, and eliminate 5,000 family-sustaining jobs.
In what was an expected move today, the PA State Senate voted in favor of House Bill 466, which would shut down the entire system of publicly owned Wine and Spirits Stores in Pennsylvania, and massively expand alcohol sales. Read More
Governor Wolf explained that “it’s time to restore the public’s trust in our government by pushing for reforms and initiatives that increase openness and transparency.” His administration has already taken great steps towards achieving those goals, and his budget proposal continues that commitment to solutions that work for taxpayers, rather than rewarding special interests. Read More
Defending our State Wine and Spirits Stores from the privateers has been an ongoing fight for such a long time that it almost risks fading into the background noise of a dysfunctional State Legislature, but what’s happening now is different.
E-Mail Your Legislators NOW!Read More
Measure passes the House by a final vote of 114 in favor, to 87 opposed.
Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Snyder today condemned the passage of the privatization of Pennsylvania’s Wine and Spirits which will increase the budget deficit, destroy over 5,000 family sustaining jobs of tax-paying citizens, and lead to an increase in alcohol related illness and death. Read More
After a difficult week of budget negotiations and votes in both chambers of the general assembly, the gavel came down last night, and the State House recessed for the summer, without floor votes attacking workers through privatization, pension reform, or paycheck protection. Read More
This is urgent, E-Mail Your State Senator Now, and then share this action page with all of your coworkers, friends, and family members.
Last spring, the State House passed HB 790, Rep. Turzai’s bill that would dismantle the State Wine & Spirits Stores and put 5,000 union members out of work and on the street. Read More
Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder, in commenting on Governor Corbett’s budget address, said that it sounded more like a campaign speech than a budget address. It was long rhetoric but very short on specifics. Read More
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board released a report on August 5th stating that the Fine Wine & Good Spirits stores generated approximately $2.2 billion in revenue in 2012-13, supplying more than $512 million to the Pennsylvania Treasury. Additionally $23.9 million was provided to the Pennsylvania State Police for the enforcement of liquor laws and approximately $2.6 million was allocated to the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs. Read More
Thanks To The Activism Of Workers Across The State, Governor’s Anti-Worker Agenda Is Derailed
This year began with the Governor promising an onslaught of anti-worker legislation designed to drive down wages, privatize public institutions, and undermine retirement security. Many of these initiatives came closer to passing than they ever have before. Read More
UPDATED Saturday June 29, 9:23am – Last night, the Senate suspended the rules of their chamber and called their members to session after midnight, for the purpose of passing an amendment to HB 790. This Pileggi amendment would, among other things, allow gas stations to sell alcohol, and make it easier for more grocery and convenience stores to obtain licenses as well. Read More
Silly season has officially descended on Harrisburg, with the State Budget and the horse trading on various pieces of union-busting legislation playing out like a real life game of whack-a-job.
Just in the past day, the Governor’s rejected bid to outsource the Pennsylvania Lottery to a British company appeared to get new life, with rumors of a budget amendment that would expand the Governor’s ability to enter into such contracts on behalf of the Commonwealth. Read More
Four Days Until Budget Deadline. E-Mail Your Legislators Now!
With only days remaining before the General Assembly breaks for their summer recess, some legislators in Harrisburg are trying to use these final hours to pass sweeping anti-worker legislation that will drive down wages, privatize industries, and destroy retirement security. Read More
This afternoon, the Senate Law and Justice Committee met to take up liquor privatization, moving the bill one step closer to a vote by the full Senate. The McIlhinney plan, unveiled last week, was voted favorably out of Committee, in spite of the large cost to taxpayers, and the predictable impact this bill will have with relation to increased consumption and alcohol-related crime. Read More
E-Mail Your Senator And Ask Them To OPPOSE McIlhinney Proposal!
The media room at the Capitol was overflowing on Tuesday afternoon, with workers and other concerned individuals eager to hear Senator McIlhinney’s proposal for the Liquor Control Board. At issue was whether the Senator had truly heard the voices of workers and small business owners, and of community groups and law enforcement during a series of public hearings over the past month. Read More
Governor Corbett is pressing the Senate to send him a liquor privatization bill as part of his administration’s right wing agenda. Liquor privatization would result in a loss of thousands of jobs and a large cut in revenue for the state. Read More
Last week, the Senate Hearings on Wine & Spirits Privatization concluded, with testimony from the Corbett administration, and from UFCW 1776 President Wendell Young IV, among others. Now, the Senate Republicans in the General Assembly are caucusing to discuss their next move. Read More
Tuesday, June 4 was the final Senate hearing on Wine and Spirits privatization, held by the Senate Law and Justice Committee. Among those testifying was United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 President Wendell Young, IV. He thanked the members of the committee and committee Chair Charles McIlhinney for their efforts in gathering all of the facts and information through a series of three public hearings held over the past month – rather than just taking for granted the talking points of Governor Corbett, Mike Turzai and the privateers. Read More
On Tuesday, May 14th, the Senate Law and Justice Committee held its second out of three hearings on the privatization of wine and spirits. This hearing focused on the business point of view. Testifiers included the PA Licensed Beverage Association, PA Restaurant and Lodging Association, PA Winery Association, Malt Beverage Distributors Association of Pennsylvania, Public Action Management, representatives from the grocery chains Wegman’s and Redner’s, and representatives from Jacquins Liquor Company. Read More
Poll also shows voters support modernization over privatization by 20 points
The following press statement was issued on May 8th by the UFCW Wine & Spirits Council
Wendell W. Young, IV, Chair of the United Food and Commercial Workers of PA Wine & Spirits Council and President of UFCW Local 1776, issued the following statement in response to today’s Franklin & Marshall poll showing that a majority of Pennsylvanians oppose Gov. Read More
Governor Tom Corbett is at it again.
Hetold us cutting corporate taxes would create jobs. But after he gave corporations hundreds of millions in tax breaks, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate went up.
He insisted that his backroom deal to outsource the State Lottery to a foreign corporation was legal, until Attorney General Kathleen Kane declared it unconstitutional. Read More
On Tuesday, April 30th the Senate Law and Justice Committee held its first hearing on the issue of wine and spirits privatization. The hearing was the first of three scheduled hearings, which focused on the social impacts of privatization. Testifiers included the State Troopers Association, Fraternal Order of Police, PA Liquor Enforcement Association, Drug and Alcohol Service Providers Organization, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and the Council Rock Coalition for Healthy Youth. Read More
Harrisburg, PA – Pennsylvania AFL-CIO President Rick Bloomingdale and Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder agree that history was made today. It’s the first time in our memories that the State House of Representatives approved legislation that eliminates thousands of good jobs including the 5,000 good jobs of the men and women who work in Pennsylvania’s Wine and Spirits System. Read More
House Bill 790 is moving forward in the house today, with a House Appropriations Committee hearing at 10am and a floor vote likely this afternoon. This terrible privatization scheme will eliminate 5,000 good family-sustaining jobs, damaging our economy and communities.
If you have not already done so, there is still time to email your legislator and tell them to VOTE NO on HB 790. Read More
The House Liquor Control Committee voted today to move the Wine and Spirits privatization bill, HB 790, to the full House for consideration. The bill was supported with a party line vote, 14 Republicans voting in favor and 10 Democrats voting against. Read More
Hundreds of workers are gathered in the hallway outside the House Liquor Committee Hearings at the Capitol today, demonstrating their opposition to Governor Corbett’s Wine and Spirits privatization scheme.
The labor movement, along with groups supporting public health and safety, oppose privatization of the PA Wine and Spirits stores which would eliminate 5,000 good jobs and end up costing Pennsylvania taxpayers over $500 million in annual revenues. Read More
Governor Corbett’s push to privatize the PA Wine and Spirits stores is coming to a committee vote on Monday. We need all of you to make your voice heard in Harrisburg, email and call your legislators and let them know that privatizing is NOT acceptable! Read More
Representative Mike Turzai has introduced HB 790, designed to dismantle the PA Wine and Spirits stores, and which will put liquor stores on street corners in neighborhoods all across our state. The bill, if passed, would eliminate 5,000 family-sustaining jobs, and get rid of a reliable revenue stream worth a half a BILLION dollars in profit and tax revenue annually. Read More
The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) was before both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees this week to discuss its current financial state, and where it expected to be for the upcoming 2013-14 State Budget. Beyond talking about their finances, the PLCB was faced with many questions concerning ongoing efforts to privatize. Read More