Monday, March 11, 2013

A big Teamster victory! NYC sugary drink ban overturned!

(UPDATES top 2 grafs, ADDS grafs 3-4 with Teamster comment.)

For months, New York City Teamsters fought like hell against Mayor Bloomberg's ban on big, sugary drinks. Now they're celebrating.

A state Supreme Court justice invalidated the ban on Monday, just one day before the ban was to take effect.

Ed Weber, president, IBT Local 812 Soft Drink and Brewery Workers, hailed the judge's ruling:
This decision shows that Bloomberg’s ‘my way or the highway’ has no legal standing and doesn’t work for New Yorkers. The judge’s action will preserve small business, the beverage industry, and good jobs for New Yorkers.
AdWeek predicted (accurately) the decision would please Teamsters:
While the decision is a major setback to Bloomberg's mayoral legacy in terms of public health initiatives—a point of emphasis during his three-term reign—it’s sure to delight everyone from 7-Eleven to the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Justice Milton Tingling ruled the ban was arbitrary and capricious:
"The simple reading of the rule leads to the earlier acknolwedged uneven enforcement even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole," Tingling said. "The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose of the rule." 
In a 36-page ruling, Tingling added that the city's rationale for enacting the soda ban was predicated on two ill-defined terms:  "obesity" and "epidemic." The judge added that the city had not demonstrated that consuming large quantities of sugary soda presented an imminent danger to its residents. 
Our brothers and sisters in New York City made a massive showing at a rally against the ban in August. And Joint Council 16 President George Miranda encouraged everyone to join the New Yorkers for Beverage Choices coalition.

It just goes to show when Teamsters fight, Teamsters can win. Great work, everyone!