At a Labor Day event in Burien, union leaders stumped for Initiative 1634, which would block Seattle-style soda taxes.
"It supports affordable groceries," said Nicole Grant of the Martin Luther King, Jr. County Labor Council.
I-1634 leaves Seattle's controversial sugary beverage tax alone but would prevent other Washington cities and counties from passing similar taxes.
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"These types of taxes hurt communities of color, poor working families the most, and it's got to stop," said Pete Lamb of Teamsters Local 174.
I-1634 is bankrolled by the soda industry.
The latest campaign finance report shows the yes campaign got $3.8 million dollars from Coca-Cola, $2.9 million from Pepsi and $1.2 million from Keurig Dr. Pepper, with total contributions of $8 million.
By contrast, the no campaign so far lists contributions of $250 from a single donor, Victor Colman.
"We have a David versus Goliath battle ahead of us," Colman said. "We're not going to be raising $8 million, to be sure. But we feel we have a very honest and truthful message about local control."
Colman says cities should be able to enact a sugary beverage tax if they want to.
He supported Seattle's soda tax, which brought in $10 million in the first six months.
The first study on whether it actually led people to consume less sugar is expected soon.
"It may be a regressive tool to do the tax, but it's a progressive public health policy," Colman said.
Organized labor is involved in the yes campaign because many beverage and grocery workers are unionized.
KIRO 7 asked Grant if labor has been bought by soda companies.
"I don't think they're bought, I just think they want their career to be able to continue," Grant said.
Labor leaders fear if people stop buying sugary drinks, union jobs will be at risk.
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