PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Pepsi says slumping sales due to Philadelphia’s new sweetened beverage tax is prompting layoffs of 80 to 100 workers at three distribution plants that serve the city.
The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/2m8IEDW ) reports that the company sent out notices Wednesday saying layoffs will occur over the next few months at the plants in north and south Philadelphia and in Wilmington, Delaware.
The company employs 423 people in the city. Pepsi spokesman Dave DeCececco said the tax has cut sales by 40 percent in the city.
The 1.5-cent-per-ouce tax on sweetened and diet beverages is imposed at the distributor level. If fully passed on to the consumer, it amounts to $1.44 on a six-pack of 16-ounce bottles.
Some Philadelphia supermarkets and beverage distributors have also said they’re gearing up for layoffs.