By Rich Zeoli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Dan Grace, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Union Local 830, whose members deliver soda and other sugary drinks in Philadelphia, told Rich Zeoli during an interview on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that the city’s beverage tax has exacted a heavy toll on their wallets.

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“The members of my local are really taking it hard. Their paychecks have declined. Their take home pay has declined 50-70 percent…Because the guys that sell in the inner-city are paid by cases sold and delivered. So they get so many cents per case. Being that the sales are off and the cases aren’t sold and delivered. Their paychecks are shorter than what they normally would be.”

Grace said the financial strain is more than many can bear.

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“It’s really hurting these guys to the point where they’re now having trouble paying their bills. Some guys have come here and asked me if it’s possible that we can find them a second job somewhere.”

He’s also expecting the tax to start costing some members their jobs in the near future.

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“I can see the effects on the business right now and very shortly you’re going to start seeing layoffs across the board. The companies can’t sustain the losses that they’re taking. That’s what has me concerned because I don’t know how our members stay employed with the companies or what the future holds for them.”