US (MA): Cannabis company unionizes to support workers

Liberty Cannabis, a medical-only dispensary in Somerville, ratified its first union contract with Union Food and Commercial Workers (UCFW), Local 1445, late last week. 

The contract is for three years, and it ensures worker benefits, including "great yearly general wage increases, affordable health, welfare benefits, 401(k) plan, grievance and arbitration procedures, union representation on the shop floor, safety committee, non-discrimination, paid vacations, and sick time, upward mobility that respects seniority, severance pay, and successorship language," the UCFW stated.

"This process has been long and tedious, but it was so worth it,” Gabe Camacho, the political director for the union, said. "Generally, employers can hire anti-union law firms to go against workers who are a part of a union, but the city of Somerville was very supportive. We are grateful to the City Council and advocates." 

"As the cannabis industry grows exponentially, high union density remains the only way to ensure that workers share in this boom, and we encourage workers at other dispensaries to organize and fight for their own collective bargaining agreements,” Matt Holmberg, Liberty worker and bargaining committee member, said.

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