Workers at Five Illinois Marijuana Stores Reach Tentative Agreement With Teamsters

Workers at five Sunnyside Dispensaries (a subsidiary of multi-state cannabis operator Cresco) have reached tentative agreements for first union contracts with Teamsters Local 777, according to a press release.

(Photo credit: Shutterstock)

“Two years ago, we didn’t have any cannabis workers under a collective bargaining agreement”, said Jim Glimco, Local 777 President. “Including these agreements, we have more than 15 contracts throughout the industry.”

Glimco says the Teamsters “are protecting and raising standards for workers in the cannabis industry. I attribute this incredible success to the dedication, bravery and brilliance of the workers in this craft.”

The contracts at the dispensaries in Elmwood ParkSouth BeloitSchaumburgRockford, and Buffalo Grove, Ill., contain significant improvements, including an end to at-will employment and the right to representation during disciplinary matters, scheduling based on seniority, a successorship clause in the event that the dispensary is sold, paid meal and rest breaks, paid time off, paid holidays, and 15 percent wage increases over the lifetime of the agreement.

“At this rate it won’t be long before nearly every cannabis retailer throughout Illinois is covered under a Teamsters contract, and we don’t plan on stopping there,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters Western Region International Vice President and Director of the Teamsters Food Processing Division. “We’re fighting across the country to do something for this industry that should’ve been done a long time ago — take cannabis out of the black market and make it an industry full of good, middle-class union jobs.”

Ratification votes will be completed for all five locations by the end of next week.

Also this week employees of Dragonfly Wellness, a medical marijuana dispensary in Salt Lake City, voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW).

Earlier this month drivers and budtenders at Ascend Cannabis Provisions in Michigan overwhelmingly ratified their first contract with Teamsters Local 406. In August labor unions in Illinois and New Jersey declared victories in contract disputes that impacted dozens of employees. Earlier that month dozens of workers in California and Missouri’s legal marijuana industry voted to unionize for the first time.

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