Teamsters Union stalls Sunday growler sales

Categories: News
growlerstock.jpg
Except on Sundays
Last week wasn't all good news for beer: Minnesota craft brewers took home five international awards but may have lost the battle over growlers.

Sales of these refillable 64-ounce containers are prohibited on Sunday and will remain so, for the foreseeable future, thanks to the Teamsters Union.

See also:
Growler and pint punch cards being offered for local breweries


Ed Reynoso, the union's political director, did not return our request for interview, but recently told MPR that a nameless alcohol distributor was worried that proposed legislation allowing growler sales on Sundays would reopen labor contracts. So he lobbied DFL leaders behind closed doors, suggesting that wages, benefits, and hours would be put back on the table.

It may have been enough to stop the growler provisions of the wider-reaching liquor bill from sailing through the Senate. A tax committee has yet to schedule a hearing -- which, in turn, jeopardizes similar legislation in the House and makes the possibility of easing any Sunday liquor sales unlikely this session.

The opposition of the Teamsters baffles beer proprietors. Unlike liquor stores, brew pubs and breweries are allowed to open on Sundays and make beverages on-site. The owners are not lobbying for a full repeal of the state's blue laws -- only the ability to sell every one of their products, every day of the week.

"Every Sunday we've had someone ask for a growler," says Pete Rifakes, owner of Town Hall Brewery and treasurer of the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild. "A lot of people come from out of town and they want to take our beer back. It's great for publicity."

The chief opponent of Sunday liquor laws in the Senate, Roger Reinert (DFL-Duluth), says he's reached out to the union with a compromise. He offered to add language that prohibits liquor stores from getting deliveries on Sundays, meaning no contracts would have to be reopened. No dice.

"That doesn't seem to address their concerns, which to me says, you're not willing to really negotiate at all," Reinert says. "You're just going to say no to any progress."

-- Follow Jesse Marx on Twitter @marxjesse or send tips to jmarx@citypages.com

City Pages on Facebook | Hot Dish on Facebook | Twitter | e-mail us



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
26 comments
jamma
jamma

f**k you for this teamsters!k!! i bust my ass all week so i can enjoy a simple beer on the weekend and you want to screw us out of that??  F**k off.

Megalomac
Megalomac

The Teamsters are idiots, but they're not making the laws in Congress.  I'd like to know exactly who in the Senate & House is against Sunday Sales?  Out them and bombard them with calls/emails/publicity until we abolish such antiquated laws that actually hurt our economy!  

Those against liquor sales on Sundays either are too lazy to work on Sunday or are being paid off by special interest groups.  This is pathetic.

Teamster638
Teamster638

If I may point out, this article actually shows that the companies that sell growlers and have contracts with Teamsters are stalling this process.  The companies don't want to re-negotiate their contracts.  Teamsters can't force companies to do this, so they are actually in the passenger seat in this whole situation.  Please stop your anti-union and anti-worker bias, city pages. Goddamn.

wade.laszlo
wade.laszlo

Ed Reynoso also sits on the Met Council and voted to raise our property taxes a couple of years ago. He gets paid $105,000 a year to lobby for the Teamsters then gets appointed to boards, like the Met Council for even more money by the people he endorses. He probably doesn't even like beer. He came here from California...probably a wine snob.

lkjhasdf
lkjhasdf

Why is Reinert trying to reach a deal with the Teamsters? Fuck them, they shouldn't get to dictate when I can buy a beverage. Fuck every last one of those crooked, control freak thugs. They only care about their wallets and couldn't give a shit about principles. There's no reasoning with them.

mc_ryan
mc_ryan

Who was the distributor?

Chance Lunning
Chance Lunning

They don't want to have to renegotiate their wages, benefits, PTO, etc., which is what the distribution companies seem to be talking about. There's got to be a way to get Sunday liquor sales without putting teamsters' wages at risk.

Marc Spencer
Marc Spencer

the blame for this lies with Minnesota lawmakers... gutless, spineless....

Ben Watson
Ben Watson

Aw, but the Teamsters Union always seemed like such a cuddly bunch!

Charlie Milkey
Charlie Milkey

I think government decisions like this should have the requirement that everyone involved in the decision needs to answer the question "Is this stupid?" on paper. They then should pass the paper to the person to their right (the person on the farthest right will give theirs to the person on the far left) and they read it. If they still determine this still isn't stupid, then they continue with the debate.

Mark D. Schieman
Mark D. Schieman

I would in courage all teamsters to refrain from drinking on Sundays, yes even during the games !

Zack Farley
Zack Farley

I support unions but this is an asinine move helping nothing or no one.

Ian Glenn
Ian Glenn

Fucking Teamsters.. Leave it to a union to impede any sort of progress. Why is it so damn hard to just allow liquor sales on Sundays? All our neighbor states allow it, and they are typically way more conservative than Minnesotans.

Thomas Torkelson
Thomas Torkelson

The framing on this is really dumb, the focus should be in the groups that support the blue laws in the first place. Failing that why does no one care about the distributor that is going to use this as an excuse to try and screw over their employees?

Andrew Berg
Andrew Berg

This just goes to support and perpetuate all of the corrupt, thuggish stereotypes that exist about labor unions. Keep up the good work.

Jake Whiting
Jake Whiting

Couldn't they just debate the Sunday Growler bill during one of the Teamsters mandated smoke breaks and quickly pass the thing?

Mike Worcester
Mike Worcester

Yet another reason why our liquor laws in this state are a joke. I would hope the Teamsters leadership offers more in the way of explanation that what I have heard so far.

Joseph Bartel
Joseph Bartel

Thanks Teamsters for protecting the working class from buying alcohol on Sundays.

lkjhasdf
lkjhasdf

@Teamster638  Unions CAN force companies to only hire union workers, and make union membership a requisite of employment. How's that for fair? And there's no lack of questionable illegal activity associated with the Teamsters in years past. Anti-union isn't an anti-worker stance either. Nice false dichotomy. 

lkjhasdf
lkjhasdf

Authoritarians don't fall neatly onto the left-right political spectrum. They just pick and choose issues they can win that will give them a little more power.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...