The Northwest Oregon Labor Council, AFL-CIO, took action May 22 against a proposed “soda tax” for Multnomah County. At the Labor Council’s Executive Board meeting earlier in the day, representatives of the Teamsters, Bakers Local 114 and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 spoke in opposition to the tax, which would be regressive because it would fall harder on lower-income people. Union officials expressed concern that it would cause the loss of union jobs. A similar tax has been in effect in Philadelphia for about a year.
Advocates of the tax will need to collect 17,000 signatures to get it on the ballot. The Labor Council approved a resolution opposing the soda tax and discouraging union members from signing the initiative petitions.