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Using Union-Bought Legislators, Teamsters Try To Block Craft Beer Competition

craft beer

Unions, never happy with a free market, often try to curtail competition by having their union-bought political allies pass legislation.

Such is the case in Minnesota, where a Teamsters-backed bill is moving through the state legislature to block members of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild from opening taprooms and selling glass jugs, “growlers,” of beer on Sunday.

Local craft beer has grown from a neighborhood economic boost to a tourism draw and even a lifestyle and political force.

Because of that popularity, the bill to exempt the taprooms from Sunday sales seemed to be sailing through, passing commerce committees in both houses. Then something happened.

The powerful Teamsters union recently began contacting legislators, saying they were not in favor of the bill. A wholesaler that employs Teamsters apparently notified the union that passage of the bill would let them reopen labor contracts, potentially having an impact on wages and ­benefits of members.

So once again, even the slightest attempt to refine the state’s Byzantine liquor laws with some common sense adjustments — to benefit consumers and business owners — has become threatened, this time by union muscle.

Ironically, guilds were one of the early forms of unions.

Apparently, however, someone hasn’t paid their dues.

Read the rest at the Star Tribune.

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