Last Wednesday, UFCW Locals 23 and 1776 in Pennsylvania lobbied at the State Capitol in Harrisburg against liquor privatization and paycheck deception.
All across Pennsylvania, thousands of UFCW members work at state-run liquor stores. They earn a fair wage with good benefits. Liquor privatization would eliminate all of these family sustaining jobs.
This threat is what inspired Lawrence County store employee Mike Badurik from Local 23 to lobby his elected officials at the Capitol in Harrisburg.
“Liquor privatization would ruin so many lives. We have to be here to put real faces to these problems. We want life to be better for our communities, and privatization will only make it worse,” Badurik said.
Instead of privatization, workers like Sylvia Hovington from Local 1776 support liquor modernization.
“Modernization means I get to keep my job and keep being able to take care of my family. It also means my family gets to exist in a safer community. Alcohol can be dangerous and liquor privatization will only make its use more widespread. Liquor modernization protects good jobs and families – it makes more sense than privatization,” Hovington said.
The other great threat in Harrisburg is paycheck deception – a law which would eliminate the ability of workers to participate in politics simply because they chose to join a union.
Local 23 member David Barton, who works at Giant Eagle, was concerned about the threat.
“To me, paycheck deception is a personal attack. I like having a voice in politics and this law threatens my ability to have one,” Barton said. “I’m here with my local to make sure my Senators and Representatives understand that. We have to get the truth out and disprove all the lies.”
UFCW Locals in Pennsylvania will continue to fight against attacks on their jobs and their livelihoods.