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Contract Could Derail Liquor Store Privatization

The state stores’ 3,500 union employees have a new contract.

A new contract for union employees in liquor stores across the state could stall or even kill current efforts to remove liquor and wine sales from the hands of the state of Pennsylvania.

The new contract for 3,500 employees runs through June 2015, according to Philly.com, and the union says one provision requires any private company that would buy the state stores to hire and pay union employees the same salary until the end of the contract.  

A spokesman for Gov. Tom Corbett, who campaigned on privatizing the state stores, told Businessweek that private businesses cannot be made to honor contracts covering state employees.

What do you think? Should private businesses have to honor a contract they didn’t make? Should liquor stores be privatized? Tell us in the comments.

Chris June 12, 2012 at 04:02 PM
As a consumer I care about the product I purchase, its quality and its price. It is not my responsibility to be concerned with the wages that are paid or whether a service hires union or non union workers. As long as there are no crimes (e.g. sweat shops, underage workers, etc.) that's all that should matter. Since when did unionization become mandatory in this country. It amazes me how people will scream for free enterprise but only under certain conditions. The marketplace will take care of wages and benefits. Nobody forces anyone to work anywhere. People are free to seek jobs where they feel they are being paid fairly.
Barb's babble June 14, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Whoever is running the store should be required to maintain a level of professionalism and competence. Wearing, what is close to pajamas and barely able to speak should not be permitted. I've met clerks who try and some who are even enthusiastic in providing service however gum chopping, PJ (or similar attire) wearing employees or possessing sour expressions are not professional. Reduces my confidence in anything they say. If unions want respect they need to appear and act with respect for themselves and customers.
guest12 June 18, 2012 at 05:23 PM
What is Milne's position? Answer who knows. Milne won't say. Democrats oppose this bill but Duane Milne won't give an answer on the day of the scheduled vote. I wonder if he is giving an answer to those primarily Republicans who want to take away good union jobs. Could we just get an answer from Milne?
Piaffe June 22, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Some State store employees are helpful but private owners are service oriented. They also know their wines better. Private owners are more customer oriented whereas State employees are just that -- state employees. I also do not think the State that arrests DUIs ( and makes money from that) should also sell alcohol. Seems like the pusher is also benefiting financially from the arrests. I think the State needs to get out of the alcohol business so that expert owners can provide great information and great customer service. It seems to me there is a conflict of interest in selling liquor and then arresting on the other end. Double dipping. I say get out of the liquor business. And if a state employee is customer oriented hire that person in your private liquor shop.
Rich A June 22, 2012 at 06:08 AM
Going to the state store is like going to the DMV. Who here as been to the Wine and Spirits on Main Street? There is one elderly man there at checkout who clearly should not be employed with any customer facing responsibilities.

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