Pa. liquor-store union pact could stall privatization

    A newly ratified labor contract covering 3,500 employees of Pennsylvania’s state-owned liquor stores could be serious setback for advocates of privatization.

    The four-year contract with two locals of the United Food and Commericial Workers provides pay raises totaling more than 4 percent.

    Wendell Young, president of the local that represents more than 2,000 employees in eastern and central Pennsylvania, says the contract requires any private company that takes over all or any portion of liquor and wine sales to honor the contracts. He says they would have to hire displaced state-store employees and provide similar pay, health coverage and pension benefits.

     

    Sunday’s ratification vote came amid continuing privatization efforts in the Legislature.

    Gov. Tom Corbett has said he supports closing the state stores, but his office had no immediate comment.

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