Toward a More Perfect Pot Union

Toward a More Perfect Pot Union
High Times

A GROWING INTEREST  Following the November 2022 elections, 21 U.S. states have legalized cannabis for recreational use, many of them now entrenched with a full-blown cannabis commerce. This rapidly expanding industry is populated with thousands of productive and ambitious workers, many of whom actively seek to organize or have already created union partnerships in their workplace.  Anywhere from 30,000 to 40,000 cannabis industry employees are estimated to be unionized across America.  UFCW UNITING WITH THE CANNABIS INDUSTRY Some California cannabis employees are part of UFCW—United Food and Commercial Workers—the largest cannabis workers union in the country, representing over 10,000 employees nationwide.  UFCW Local 5—which presently represents over 500 weed workers across the famed “Bay Area” of Northern California—is branching out beyond representing dispensary workers, as in June 2021, when UFCW brokered a historic first-ever agreement to unionize workers at both a California-based cannabis manufacturer, CannaCraft Manufacturing, and at a cannabis lab, Sonoma Lab Works.  We were fortunate to speak in-depth with Jim Araby, Director of Strategic Campaigns for UFCW 5. When asked about what both the individual weed worker and the collective cannabis industry gain from unionization, Araby elaborated: “The worker benefits are very clear, such as the difference between union and non-union wages in the companies we’ve organized in the Bay Area. DIspensary workers and delivery drivers are making $3-to-$4 more per hour than their non-union equivalents. “Also union workers are not subjected to ‘at-will’ hiring-and-firing, instead, they have to go through an actual process for ‘just cause’ so if they get fired for some reason, there’s a procedure in place, whereas non-union workers just get fired immediately under the ‘at-will’ law. “The other big thing is; with the way the cannabis industry is now, in terms of there being a lot of large mergers and acquisitions happening, I think…

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Source : Toward a More Perfect Pot Union

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