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New York Legislators Fire Back On “At-Rest” Opposition

February 13, 2014

Following reports last week that New York’s proposed legislation to require in-state warehousing of wine and spirits would hurt small wholesalers who utilize warehouses in New Jersey, two New York assemblymen have issued a statement defending the proposal.

Carl Heastie of the Bronx, chairman of the New York Assembly’s labor committee, and Samuel Roberts of Syracuse, a member of the labor committee, say the so-called “at-rest” legislation will “promote the creation of more than 1,600 new jobs with an average salary in excess of $100,000 plus benefits and ensure that the jobs which currently exist in this industry stay in New York State.” Pointing out that New Jersey, Connecticut and Vermont have similar laws on the books, the statement added, “We need to stop outsourcing jobs to other states whose companies profit from the New York State economy.”

Reports in the New York Daily News, New York Post and other outlets last week sounded the alarm that, if passed, the bill could lead to higher wine and spirits prices and put smaller wholesalers who use cheaper New Jersey warehousing options out of business. Dominant New York distributors Empire Merchants and Southern Wine & Spirits, who warehouse their New York inventory in-state, haven’t taken a public position on the initiative, but the Teamsters union has come out in favor. Similar efforts to pass at-rest legislation in New York have failed in the past.

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