As Expected, Philadelphia’s Tax On “Sugary Drinks” Results In Layoffs

Previously, I summarized the repercussions of the “sugary drinks” tax imposed by the city of Philadelphia.  As expected, the tax is causing layoffs, with an update from Teamsters Local 830 Secretary-Treasurer Daniel Grace:

  • Pepsi, Co., announced 80-100 of the 423 people employed in Philadelphia will be out of a job. 
  • Canada dry is planning 25 layoffs
  • Coca-Cola is planning similar layoffs

These, according to Grace, are “a direct result of the city’s onerous and discriminatory Beverage Tax.”

“Unfortunately, after careful consideration of the economic realities created by the recently enacted beverage tax, we have been forced to give notice that we intend to eliminate 80 to 100 positions, including frontline and supervisory roles,” Pepsi spokesman Dave DeCecco said.

Fran McGorry, president and general manager of Coca-Cola Refreshments from the Tri-State Metro Unit, released the following statement:

“We are sorry to hear that the hard working people who make, sell and deliver a wide range of beverages in Philadelphia are losing their jobs because of this beverage tax. There is no question this tax is hurting Philadelphia’s consumers, restaurants and store owners as well.  Everything we’ve said would happen by enacting this tax is proving to be true. We are evaluating how we will address the impact of this tax on our business. People are leaving the city to shop, small businesses are getting hurt, consumers are unhappy and people are losing their jobs.”

City of Philadelphia spokesmen claim these are scare tactics to prevent a similar tax in other cities.  Lauren Hitt confirmed the liberal city’s elitist attitude with a statement that Pepsi should not lay off workers since they make a profit.

“The idea that they can afford to do that but ‘must lay off workers’ should make every Philadelphian very skeptical of whether these layoffs are actually due to the tax,” Hitt said.  

The tax is to fund pre-K programs along with other city projects; to encourage parents to warehouse their children with strangers while they find jobs to pay for additional taxes to enjoy their Gatorade and Pepsi.  Mayor Jim Kenney’s office announced the universal warehousing pre-K indoctrination program has created 251 new jobs; 191 teaching jobs and of those 147 full-time positions.  The average salary for these new jobs is $14.72 an hour.

Also, as I previously wrote, people are leaving the city limits to purchase their “sugary drinks”, which goes beyond a basic Coca-Cola or Pepsi.  As a consequence, people are purchasing most or all their groceries outside the city.  This will cost local businesses everywhere, including purchasers, truck drivers, catering services, plus the many colleges, universities, and medical schools in the city that provide vending and cafeteria services to students.   Grace points to the city council members and those union leaders that supported the tax when it passed last summer:

We predicted this dire outcome from the outset. I hope they can live with themselves after knowing that their actions led to the devastation of an industry in the city and the loss of so many family-sustaining jobs.”

I am not sure they care, Mr. Grace.  Power is more important than common sense.

The nanny state is in full force.  Grab a beer, soda, cheesesteak, fries, your favorite cigar, and read this from, plus, check out the related links to see how much control the city of Philadelphia wants to have over your life. 

Coming to a city near you…….

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Tara Baney

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