Arizona Marijuana Workers Vote Overwhelmingly to Unionize

Employees at a marijuana cultivation facility in Arizona voted this week to unionize, with 90% of workers in support of the move.

On Thursday workers at the Trulieve Cannabis Corp central Phoenix production facility voted 37 to 4 in favor of unionizing with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 99.

“The successful union election at Trulieve Magnolia is the first for Arizona agricultural workers in the cannabis industry, and only the second-ever union election to be administered by the Arizona Agricultural Labor Relations Board (AERB)”, states a UFCW press release. “Established in 1993, the AERB’s statutes are patterned after the National Labor Relations Act, which specifically excludes agricultural workers from its jurisdiction.”

The last and only time workers petitioned for union recognition through the board was in the year 2000 when workers at the Eurofresh tomato hothouse in Willcox voted to join UFCW Local 99.

Following the announcement of results by the AERB, UFCW Local 99 President Jim McLaughlin celebrated the historic victory for cannabis workers and thanked the state board for its cooperation throughout the election process.

“Today, employees Trulieve Magnolia have proved that no matter the obstacle, when working people stand together in solidarity and demand better for themselves and their families, there is nothing they cannot achieve,” said McLaughlin. “As we celebrate this historic win for workers, I would also like to commend AERB Executive Secretary Lisa James and the entire board for their commitment to ensuring a free and fair election for all eligible employees.”

UFCW 99 is Arizona’s largest private-sector union, representing 25,000 essential workers at Fry’s, Safeway, and many other employers throughout the southwest. There are over 1.3 million UFCW members nationwide.

For a look at some of the other marijuana workers that have unionized across the country, click here.

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