Stronger Together: Windy City Weed Street Workers Vote Union Yes
Windy City Cannabis workers join the growing Union movement to change the booming cannabis industry!
For Immediate Release
Chicago, IL – Today workers at Windy City Cannabis on Weed Street in Chicago won their Union representation election and will join Local 881 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, the Union for Cannabis Workers in Illinois. Windy City Cannabis is owned by the Massachusetts-based company Curaleaf, which currently operates 10 dispensary locations in Illinois.
“I am so proud of my co-workers for uniting together and taking this important first step in having our voices be heard in the workplace against a BIG corporation,” said Anna, a Windy City Cannabis employee. “We are going to keep becoming a stronger team here at Weed Street and I’m so excited for the future! I hope other cannabis workers will be inspired to follow in our footsteps. We are stronger together!”
The workers were motivated to Unionize in order to improve their working conditions. The Weed Street workers cited issues at the dispensary such as health and safety, ventilation problems, inadequate wages, lack of benefits, and a serious need for more COVID-19 protocols and protections for employees and customers.
“We have had to endure a lot of anti-union propaganda from the company, but we held strong and the majority of us voted to join the UFCW. We are super excited to start the collective bargaining for better pay, better benefits, and a Union contract,” said Jake, a Product Specialist at Windy City Cannabis. “We hope that our bosses will meet us in good faith at the bargaining table and we hope that more dispensary workers in Chicago join us in fighting for dignity in the workplace. This industry is booming, and we know that we deserve better! Union Strong Baby!”
“Recreational cannabis legislation was passed with the understanding that these would be good Union jobs. The Weed Street workers’ organizing campaign received support from local officials and tweets from high-profile lawmakers including U.S. Representatives, Chuy Garcia (4th Congressional District) and Jan Schakowsky (9th Congressional District),” said Steve Powell, Local 881 UFCW President. “The cannabis industry at large needs to follow through on the promises made to our communities. Cannabis workers deserve the right to bargain for respect, good wages, better benefits, and a voice in the workplace! We are so proud of the resolve of the Weed Street workers and we are happy to welcome them into the Union for cannabis workers!”
Local 881 is among the largest affiliates of the UFCW, which is proud to represent tens of thousands of cannabis workers across multiple states. UFCW members in the legal cannabis industry work in cultivation, manufacturing, processing, laboratories, and dispensaries. Windy City Weed Street is the third group of workers to join Local 881. Workers at Cresco (Joliet) and Sunnyside (Lakeview) have both recently ratified their Union Contracts negotiated by Local 881 UFCW.
For more information about the fight to improve the Cannabis industry in Illinois, visit: ILCannabisWorkersUnited.org