Liquor Store Employees Protest I-1183

Author: Ian Cull, KXLY4 Multimedia Journalist, ianc@kxly.com
Published On: Oct 30 2011 07:26:38 AM PDT   Updated On: Oct 30 2011 07:29:52 AM PDT
SPOKANE -

Union leaders that represent liquor store employees campaigned in front of Costco Sunday.

They're against Initiative 1183, which changes where you buy alcohol in Washington state. If passed, it would privatize liquor sales and shut down state liquor stores.

The initiative also eliminates the requirement that distributors and manufacturers of wine and spirits sell at a uniform price.

Union leaders claim the initiative would be bad for state business, and put 1,000 people out of work.

"Not just minimum wage jobs. These are jobs with benefits and we just can't afford to lose them in our economy," Union Representative Bob Barker said.

Sunday's sign waving included about 20 people, and a giant puppet figure one man wore on his back.

Barker says his union includes about 600 liquor control employees. He says they would all be out of a job if the initiative passes and the state liquor stores are shut down.

Other people say they worry about public safety if the number of liquor stores rise from 400 to 1200 across the state.

People in favor of the Initiative say it would improve liquor prices, create jobs, and generate tax and fee revenue.

Ballots are due by November 8th.