Local 727 Celebrates End of Cook County Soda Tax

| December 1, 2017

November 30, 2017, marks a special day for beverage industry workers throughout the Chicago area. It was the last day of the Cook County Beverage Tax Ordinance, the onerous tax that threatened hundreds if not thousands of good paying union jobs.

“We all have a real reason to celebrate as the carelessly implemented beverage tax expires,” said John Coli Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 727. “It was a poorly thought-out taxing scheme that threatened the livelihoods of many of our members.”

Local 727 represents nearly 2,000 beverage industry workers throughout Cook County. These include workers at Pepsi, Great Lakes Coca-Cola Distribution, Dr. Pepper Snapple, Home Juice and Hinckley. Their employment was at real risk had this job-killing tax continued. Cook County was projected to lose $1.3 billion in economic activity with businesses shuttered and consumers shopping beyond Cook County for groceries and beverages had the tax remained in effect.

“I would like to thank the Cook County Commissioners who did the right thing and voted to repeal the beverage tax,” Coli continued. “It just goes to show that when you present a united and organized opposition, like we did, then the politicians will listen. This Local takes pride in fighting for members outside of the four corners of their CBA by getting involved and leading the charge on these job preservation actions.”

For years, Local 727 has urged the Cook County Board to abandon similar beverage tax proposals, providing lawmakers with concrete evidence of the detrimental effects such levies have had on workers and industry in cities like Berkeley, Calif. and Philadelphia. During rallies, press conferences, direct outreach to board commissioners, and by members speaking out, Local 727 has helped lead the charge for county government to consider other taxes in place of the beverage tax.

“This was a long-fought battle and a huge win for thousands of Local 727 members,” said Coli.


Category: BEVERAGE

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