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Pepsi Cutting 80-100 jobs in Philly; Girlfriend Arrested in Aunt Shooting; NAACP Petitions Philly DA
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 03/01/17 3:07 pm | updated: 03/01/17 3:07 pm
 
Pepsi is cutting 80-100 Philadelphia area jobs in response to the city's recent beverage tax over the next few months beginning today. Employees from the frontline to supervisory positions will be affected. The company said that beverage sales are down 40% in the city and up only 10-15% outside the city since the tax went into effect in January. The company has facilities in Northeast Philadelphia, South Philadelphia and Wilmington, DE with a total of 423 positions. In a statement Pepsi says, "This isn't something we take lightly or want to do, and we are committed to working with our employees and the union to treat impacted individuals with the care and dignity they deserve." The Teamsters Local 830 released a statement saying it part, "This terrible news, although not surprising, is particularly disastrous for the members of Teamsters Local 830, who rely on a strong soda industry for their livelihoods... We pleaded with City Council members and our fellow union brothers and sisters in Philadelphia to stand with us against this outrageous tax, but to no avail." The beverage tax collected $5.7 million in it's first month. Some of the revenue goes to Pre-K programs in the city, which city spokesperson says has created 251 jobs. Mayor Jim Kenney released a statement, "The soda industry sunk to a new low today. They are literally holding hostage the jobs of hardworking people in their battle to overturn the tax." He called out an industry that has billions in profit and spends 'hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbyists and advertising against the tax' but 'must lay off workers.'

The girlfriend of a 26-year-old man who was arrested in the shooting death of his aunt in Port Richmond on Friday has also been arrested and charged according to police on Wednesday. 36-year-old Michelle Waclawski of Kensington was arrested with her boyfriend Andrew Cruttenden on Tuesday afternoon. Cruttenden is charged with murder, robbery, conspiracy and weapon offenses. Waclawski is charged with conspiracy, criminal trespass and theft. 57-year-old Virginia Cruttenden was found shot to death in her Port Richmond home on Friday February 24th. Police put information out to the public about Andrew yesterday morning. They received tips that led them to Waclawski's home. Cruttenden was found hiding in the basement. The both face a preliminary hearing on March 15th.

The NAACP's Philadelphia chapter has petitioned the Philadelphia DA to review the criminal convictions of the two black demolition workers in the fatal Center City Salvation Army building collapse. The petition claims that there was 'selective prosecution' based on race and class in the case. Unlicensed contractor, Griffin Campbell, and a machine operator, Sean Benschop were tried and convicted on manslaughter charges and are serving lengthy sentences. Building owner Richard Basciano and architect Platos Marinakos, who are both white, were not charged criminally. In the recent civil trial, Campbell and Benschop were found to be 1 percent responsible each. The other parties (including the Salvation Army) bore the brunt of the responsibility. The DA's office has not commented.

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