The Washington State House and State Senate recently passed legislation that regulates the medical and recreational cannabis industries and creates a fair and safe dispensary system. Many cannabis workers in Washington are looking forward to having a union contract to help make their jobs and shops better for workers and consumers.
UFCW Local 367 has negotiated a neutrality agreement with ten cannabis shops that will allow for a fair and cooperative process for workers to join a union, if they choose. Recently, the local held a joint seminar with cannabis shop owners, employees, and the Federal Meditation Conciliation Service to lay the framework for cannabis workers to choose a union voice on the job. The seminar served as an opportunity for participates to ask questions about the bargaining process. Negotiations for the workers’ first contract are expected to begin the first week of May.
Workers say that fair wages, fair scheduling practices, and affordable benefits are priorities. They also wanted the opportunity to join a union in order to help legitimize the cannabis industry with rules and regulations that focus on worker, product, and consumer safety. Worker safety seminars are planned following the ratification of a first contract.
“We are pioneers in Washington for this industry,” said UFCW Local 367 President Denise Jagielo, “The cannabis industry continues to contribute to the economic vitality of Washington with safe, living-wage jobs for their workforce. Our work is only beginning, and we look forward to providing guidance and framework for safe, prosperous work in our state.”