Additional Taxes Will Destroy Good-Paying Distribution Jobs, Coli Says

The Teamsters oppose the Chicago City Council’s proposed additional tax on sodas and other beverages because it would put thousands of jobs in jeopardy.

More than 1,000 small businesses have joined the Teamsters in opposing the tax, which would negatively impact the approximately 2,000 union employees in the City of Chicago whose livelihoods are directly or indirectly dependent upon the non-alcoholic beverage industry. Supporters claim the tax would help curb obesity.

“While obesity is a public health issue across the country, we cannot simply tax our way to a solution,” said John T. Coli, President of Teamsters Joint Council 25 and Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 727. “Higher taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages in Chicago and other cities are already driving down consumption. Additional taxes will only serve to destroy good-paying distribution jobs that thousands of hardworking people rely on.”

The Chicago City Council is proposing a penny-an-ounce tax on top of the 9 percent “fountain drink” tax on syrup and 3 percent “soft drink” tax on cans and bottles. The new tax would apply to syrup and powders as well as canned and bottled drinks, including juices, teas and sodas.

Teamsters Local 727 represents nearly 2,000 non-alcoholic beverage industry workers throughout the Greater Chicago area and is an affiliate of Teamsters Joint Council 25, America’s premier labor union for Chicago, Illinois and northwest Indiana.