Every day Teamsters drive thousands of cases full of hard liquor from the state-run warehouses in South Seattle to retail outlets around the state.
To address the public’s concerns around hard liquor availability and to raise new revenue, Sen. Joe Zarelli (R-Ridgefield) and Sen. Mike Hewitt (R-Walla Walla) introduced SB5942.
Thanks to the hard work of Teamsters’ members and partners, the state legislature passed SB5942 with bipartisan support and it was signed by Governor Gregoire.
SB5942 allows the state to accept bids from private companies to run the hard liquor warehouses and distribution system.
If a private bid is accepted by the state, more Teamster jobs could be in the works. As new warehouses and new distribution routes are established, distributors may hire more Teamsters around the state.
The Liquor Control Board runs the distribution system now. There’s a single distribution center in Seattle. It handles all incoming liquor products sold in stores, distributes products to the 373 state, contract, military and tribal stores. The center distributes about 4.7 million cases a year.
That’s 18,000 cases a day delivered, in part, by Teamsters.
The bill was opposed by Costco and the Northwest Grocers Association, which saw it as a threat to their ballot initiative (I-1180) to take over the state’s liquor stores.
NEXT STEP: Teamsters are working to insure new liquor delivery jobs are created quickly and that they are Teamster jobs.