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Corbett Disputes Union Claim That Contract Still Applies If Liquor Store Privatization Goes Through

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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa (CBS) - The Corbett Administration is dismissing the claims of a union leader representing 3,500 state store workers that a new labor deal could throw a wrench into efforts to privatize liquor sales in Pennsylvania.

The head of one of two union locals representing state store workers says the new contract that runs into 2015 obligates any private retailer who sells liquor to hire former state store workers and honor the terms of the contract.

But Eric Shirk, a spokesman for Governor Corbett, says not so.

“This has zero bearing on privatization efforts. You can’t force a private employer to abide by that contract.”

But union leader Wendell Young says the language in the contract is clear and covers almost every conceivable scenario and is binding on a private retailer.

“Sure it is… absolutely is. This is not an unknown concept in labor law.”

But in any event, a spokesman for the House majority leader says the contract won’t affect his effort to get liquor privatization legislation through the House this month.

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