We are writing to respond to the letter in the March 12 issue on supermarket pricing by Scott Rajczi of the Dutchess Central Labor Council.
At issue is whether Dutchess County should keep its item pricing law or amend it to allow stores that pass an annual accuracy test to shelf price. Some background may be helpful. Dutchess County is the last county in New York State to require item pricing. All other counties either repealed their laws or adopted an accuracy standard similar to the one under consideration in Dutchess.
The New York State item pricing law sunset back in June of 1991. The state now enforces an accuracy law, which was recommended by officials of the state’s Weights and Measures Association.
Mr. Rajczi claims that item pricing is necessary for price comparison. Not so. The best way to compare prices is to use the state-mandated unit pricing tags, which give the price per measure of each item.
Mr. Rajczi also claims that item pricing will hurt the labor force. Once again, his statement is unfounded. No jobs were lost when other counties — including nearby Putnam, Westchester and Ulster — adopted accuracy laws. No employee’s sole job is to item price. There is plenty of other work to do in a supermarket.
The supermarket union, the UCFW, is not opposing the bill. This should tell Mr. Rajczi that this is not a jobs issue.
Today, the Dutchess law is nothing more than a hidden food tax. It also discourages companies from opening new stores here. Dutchess County consumers deserve better.
Charles S. North, President & CEO
Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce
Michael E. Rosen, President & CEO
Food Industry Alliance