Cannabis dispensary employees in Illinois are going to unionize

18 0

Workers at Cresco Labs have agreed that it’s time to join a union

For the second time, a group of workers in the cannabis industry voted to become part of a union. The move came from Cresco Labs employees working for the company’s marijuana dispensary in Lakeview; the votes were 16-4 in favor of being represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 881, said Moises Zavala, the local’s organizing director. This is the first unionization vote held in the cannabis industry since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Cresco is a cannabis venture operating in multiple states, but it has strong operations in the Illinois recreational market. This is not the first time Cresco employees unionized; in January, the employees at the company’s cultivation facility in Joliet also voted in favor of unionizing by a margin of 58-32. That was actually the first part of the legal recreational cannabis market in the state to make such a decision. “Workers in this industry are voting for the union because they want to turn these jobs in the industry into careers and to be treated [like] the professionals that they are,” Zavala told Marijuana Business Daily yesterday.

Zavala added that the union will start contract negotiations after the vote is certified by the National Labor Relations Board. “We look forward [to] negotiating a strong contract for these workers,” said the UFCW. The union has been working on getting the people employed in the industry unionized, particularly those who work for Cresco. One of the leaflets distributed by the union at Cresco Sunnyside in Lakeview said the company failed to provide protection during the pandemic and that it also paid low wages, which was later disputed by the cannabis operator.