Workers at Stoney Brothers Approve First-Ever Oregon Contract for Marijuana Workers

Stoney Bros L555

Workers at Stoney Brothers, a marijuana dispensary in Portland, Ore., have approved the first-ever union contract for cannabis workers in Oregon and have joined UFCW Local 555. The vote to approve the contract was unanimous and sets a new standard for cannabis workers in Oregon.

“With our new contract, I am excited to have paid holidays and vacation time,” said Kyle Maestra, a site manager at Stoney Brothers. “That is unusual in the cannabis industry.”

The three-year contract includes salaries starting at $15/hour with some making as high as $34/hour, regular raises, affordable health insurance through a multi-employer fund, pension contributions, paid vacations and sick leave, as well as seniority and grievance protections.

“All workers deserve the benefits of a union contract,” said Dan Clay, President of UFCW Local 555, “and workers in the cannabis industry are no different. Starting with the workers at Stoney Brothers, we can build a home-grown Oregon cannabis industry that respects workers and provides good, family-supporting jobs.”

Workers at Stoney Brothers have expressed excitement about their industry-leading compensation package.

“Health insurance is important to me,” said Hannah Poole, a patient consultant at Stoney Brothers. “My union health insurance plan is comprehensive and gives me real peace of mind.”

Stoney Brothers and UFCW Local 555 look forward to growing together as the company plans to open several new retail and growing facilities in the near future.

Jewel-Osco Pharmacy Workers Vote Union “Yes” with UFCW Local 431

L431 Jewel OscoJewel-Osco Pharmacy workers in Clinton, Iowa, have voted to join UFCW Local 431. The 16 workers decided to come together to join UFCW Local 431 to be able to negotiate a fair and systematic way to solve workplace issues, secure schedules, and improve wages and benefits. Several workers have been working at the location for years without a pay raise.

“It was important to us to have a say when it came to our jobs and our work. Now that we are part of a union, together we have the strength to make sure that our voices are heard and we have the power to make our jobs better,” said Kathryn Jaeger, a Jewel-Osco Certified Pharmacy Tech.

An overwhelming majority of the workers voted to join UFCW Local 431 despite an anti-union campaign from the employer. Workers were able to stick together despite the anti-union messaging thanks to meetings and face-to-face conversations with UFCW Local 431 members who are retail food workers in the same store.

New Report Says Virtual Labor Organizing Could Be Key In Organizing New Workers

Virtual Organizing

The Century Foundation has a new report suggesting that virtual labor organizing could be the key to getting a new generation of workers to join unions.

According to the report, “Organizing a union through the use of online tools would allow employees to band together in a more organic, grassroots effort that does not require outside help to get things started. The goal of virtual organizing would be to innovate and experiment with a new platform that is faster, homegrown, and simplified for workers to gain influence at work. Given how much today’s workers rely on information technology to do their jobs, there might be significant receptivity to this new online tool.”

The virtual online organizing tool would work through a new, state-of-the-art virtual platform that would allow average employees in workplaces across the country to organize and join a labor union with much more ease. A well-designed platform would avoid many of the roadblocks that employers often throw down when they see efforts to organize.

The platform would provide an interactive, step-by-step process so that employees know what to expect at each stage, and how to handle hurdles that may arise. It would be designed to help workers engage with other employees as well as form an organizing committee, create instructions for beginning and carrying on all facets of the organizing campaign, automatically file petitions and forms with the NLRB upon the show of sufficient support, and it would even offer model agreements on issues such as wages, benefits, scheduling policies, and health and retirement plans.