Cannabis Workers in Illinois and Massachusetts Trying to Unionize
At cannabis retail stores and dispensaries in Illinois and Massachusetts, workers are attempting to unionize. The effort by workers, already underway, according to a post on Marijuana Business Daily, has been accelerated, due to the Covid-19 crisis. If successful, the unionization efforts could mean higher employment costs for cannabis operators in those states.
According to the article, the unionization efforts had already begun in some instances, but they have gained new momentum as safety concerns surrounding Covid-19 begin to mount. In addition to safety, workers are also looking to address pay, benefits, scheduling, and other concerns. If successful, unionization efforts could spell substantially higher costs per employee for retail operators in IL and MA.
The primary union attempting to organize workers is the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). Moises Zavala, Organizing Director for UFCW Local 881 in Illinois, is quoted as saying, “It wasn’t until this crisis hit us that these workers realized that nothing has changed and it will never change, so we have to do something about it.”