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Approved liquor privatization measure faces lawsuit in state of Washington

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December 8, 2011

By Bailey Ludlam

Washington

OLYMPIA, Washington: Two labor unions, the United Food and Commercial Workers and the Teamsters, are challenging Washington's recently passed liquor privatization initiative (I-1183) in King County Superior Court.[1]

Beside privatizing liquor sales, the unions note that the measure also changes regulations on wine distribution, liquor franchises, and alcohol advertising. This, they argue, violates the state's single-subject rule.[1]

They also argue that these changes were designed to benefit the chief backer of the measure, Costco. Costco contributed an estimated $21 million to the effort in support of Initiative 1183.[1]

The two unions represent about 1,000 union workers that are expected to lose their current jobs under the plan.[1]

The measure was approved by 59% on November 8, 2011. Initiative 1183 officially becomes law on December 8, 2011.

  • The press release for the lawsuit can be found here.

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