With big sales drops reported in first 2 months of 1.5-cents-per-oz tax on sugared bevs in Philadelphia, PepsiCo said it will be cutting employees at 3 distribution plants around city, reported Philadelphia Inquirer. “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, in Philadelphia over the next few months, beginning today,” said rep Dave DeCecco. While Dave insisted layoffs are necessary, not politically motivated, city officials slammed move immediately. “The soda industry sank to a new low today,” charged city spokesperson Laura Hitt, citing PEP earnings and exec pay as proof co doesn’t need to slash jobs. “This isn’t something we take lightly or want to do, and we are committed to working with our employees and the union to treat impacted individuals with the care and dignity they deserve,” said DeCecco.
Meanwhile, Teamsters Local Union 830 sec’y/treasurer Daniel Grace issued scathing statement alluding to layoffs beyond PepsiCo, citing 25 layoffs at Canada Dry, pending announcement from Coca-Cola and prediction from Penn Merchants Assn that major layoffs of grocery store workers are inevitable, too. “This terrible news, although not surprising, is particularly disastrous” for Local 830 members, he said.