Labor warns of misplaced jobs if Gov. Kathy Hochul will get her flavored tobacco ban in NY

ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul has discovered a brand new approach to antagonize New York’s union leaders — with labor teams blasting anticipated job losses from her proposed ban on flavored tobacco.

“Our union brothers and sisters within the tobacco trade are susceptible to dropping their jobs, advantages, and pensions resulting from Governor Hochul‘s proposed ban on menthol/flavored tobacco and tax hike,” Mike Smith, president of Native 810 Worldwide Brotherhood of Teamsters, raged at a Capitol press convention on Wednesday.


He claimed that roughly 500 out of 4,000 drivers, warehouse employees and salespeople represented by Native 810 would lose their jobs if Hochul’s proposed ban will get authorized within the state price range due March 1.

“Whereas we perceive the intent of the laws is to not remove Teamster jobs or destabilize Teamster pension funds, the unlucky actuality is that these can be sure outcomes,” Thomas Gesualdi, president of the Teamsters’ Joint Council No. 16 representing 25 locals and 120,000 members, mentioned in a Feb. 8 letter to Hochul.

Union opposition to the price range proposal represents yet one more conflict between the newly-elected Hochul and unions that backed her marketing campaign for a full time period final yr within the closest gubernatorial race in a technology.

Gov. Kathy Hochul is proposing a ban on flavored tobacco merchandise within the price range due April 1.

Hochul started incurring the wrath of organized labor in December after she nominated Brooklyn Decide Hector LaSalle, who was rejected by the state Senate weeks in the past, to guide New York’s highest court docket regardless of a previous resolution opposed by highly effective unions like SEIU 1199 and 32BJ.

Whereas lecturers’ unions like New York State United Academics stayed out of that public combat, they’re now preventing Hochul over her price range proposal to permit extra constitution faculties in New York Metropolis.

Some union leaders like Garg LaBarbera, president of the Constructing and Development Trades Council of Larger New York, stay on good phrases with the governor regardless of her variations with different organized labor teams.

“I used to be simply praising organized labor yesterday at JFK,” Hochul advised Metropolis & State when requested Friday about her relationship with labor. “I’m going to proceed partnering and ensuring that we work on necessary tasks that make New York the very best state it may be.” 

Hector LaSalle sitting on a red bench alone while looking down
Hochul incurred the wrath of some unions in December by nominating Hector LaSalle, who was rejected by the state Senate in February, to guide New York’s highest court docket
Hans Pennink

However the proposal to ban flavored tobacco faces opposition past tobacco corporations or labor teams petrified of members dropping jobs, together with critics who notice how any ban on menthol cigarettes would disproportionately have an effect on Black individuals.

The highly effective Meeting Majority Chief Crystal Peoples-Stokes (D-Buffalo) mentioned she desires the Legislature to dam the proposal forward of an April 1 deadline.

“I perceive the impetus of the coverage is to get individuals to quit smoking, which is an efficient factor,” Meeting Majority Chief Crystal Peoples-Stokes mentioned at a current press convention in Buffalo. “However I believe it shouldn’t be this selective. It goes method too deep … and could be a mistake, so I can be working to have it excluded.”

Teamsters who work as drivers may lose their jobs if Hochul’s proposed ban on flavored tobacco will get authorized within the state price range due April 1.

The NAACP, nevertheless, is among the many teams backing Hochul on the proposal contemplating the well being advantages that might end result from banning flavored tobacco alongside along with her price range proposal to extend cigarette taxes by $1 – from $4.35 to $5.35 per pack — per pack.

“With tobacco use the main reason for preventable deaths, Governor Hochul is main the way in which to a tobacco-free technology to cut back youth smoking and stop mindless deaths. As with all price range proposal, we’ll work with the legislature on the ultimate particulars for one of the best ways to guard public well being,” Hochul spokeswoman Hazel Crampton-Hays mentioned.

However Smith mentioned that doubtlessly boosting the well being of some New Yorkers will come at a value for the Teamsters whereas encouraging people who smoke to purchase banned cigarette flavors on the black market.

“I’m right here to talk on behalf of those who I do know – second third-generation staff on this trade that must go to the dentist, they should go to their docs, they should retire,” Smith mentioned at a Tuesday press convention within the Capitol. “So we have to simply again up with considering of concepts with out understanding what the ramifications of those concepts may be.”