Day 1: Liquor Store Union Getting Ready For Fight With Corbett
Unionized Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board employees are wasting no time.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, PLCB employees met at four Western Pennsylvania hotels Monday to discuss their strategy going forward to stop Governor Tom Corbett’s publicized plan to dismantle PA’s liquor sales operation. They’ve already been making the rounds, locally and publicly, through Facebook. Here are stats from the UFCW PA Wine and Spirits Council’s page:
$2 billion MYTH
• Rep. Mike Turzai thinks he can raise $2 billion by selling the Wine and Spirits Stores. He bases this on bad numbers from the 1997 failed privatization scheme and even worse math by the privateers pushing the sale now.
• Price Waterhouse originally said that a sale in 1997 would raise $600 million, but then conceded that the Ridge Administration had provided faulty numbers. The firm reversed itself and said the sale would raise less than HALF of this amount.
• Now, to get $2 billion, Turzai wants to sell 850 retail and wholesale licenses at a $2.3 million average – a figure achieved nowhere in the U.S. for similar licenses. For example, New Jersey’s average license sells for less than $250,000.
They’ve got a tough road ahead of them, with Republican control of the legislature and governor’s mansion, and the becoming belief that selling the retail licenses could net the state “a one-time windfall of $2 billion.”
The UFCW says that estimate is based on faulty data — to get $2 billion from the auctioning of 850 retail and wholesale licenses would mean each license sells for almost $2.4 million even though “comparable licenses have not been shown to be worth anything close to that anywhere in the nation.”
Mr. Corbett did not mention specific political goals in his inaugural address Tuesday, but Lt. Gov. James Cawley said privatization forces may have the leverage they need this time.
Image: UFCW Local 23 Union Facebook page