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NLRB Finds Merit to UFCW Local 1500 ULP Filed Against Mrs. Green’s

A NLRB Regional Director found merit to the ULP filed by UFCW Local 1500 that eight Mrs. Green’s Natural Market workers were illegally fired for trying to have a union voice on the job.

A NLRB Regional Director found merit to the ULP filed by UFCW Local 1500 that eight Mrs. Green’s Natural Market workers were illegally fired for trying to have a union voice on the job.

After an internal investigation by a Regional Director of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Director found merit to UFCW Local 1500’s unfair labor practice charges alleging that Mrs. Green’s Natural Market unlawfully terminated eight employees because they supported having a union voice on the job.

The Regional Director also revoked a previous settlement of unfair labor practices (November 2013) between UFCW Local 1500, the NLRB, and Mrs. Green’s. In that settlement, Mrs. Green’s agreed to cease their anti-union conduct, promising to create a safe, intimidation-free work environment for the workers. The company also agreed to post a notice in their store for 60 days that informed all employees of their basic rights at work, including the right to form and organize a union.

In a complete disrespect for the settlement with the government and workers’ rights, during a one week span in January, Mrs. Green’s abruptly fired eight leading union supporters, some of whom had met with local politicians about their campaign. The company then removed the required notice from the walls of their store prior to the end of the 60-day period.

A Federal Labor Complaint was then issued against Mrs. Green’s, alleging that Mrs. Green’s violated the law when it terminated union supporters. The trial will be heard before an Administrative Law Judge of the NLRB in July.

“We’re confident that we will receive justice,” said David Ramirez who worked at Mrs. Green’s in Mt. Kisco, New York, for nearly ten years until he was fired this January, “We could not have gotten this far and received this decision without the support from UFCW Local 1500 members and the Mt. Kisco community, who have walked the picket line with us during a cold winter. That meant a lot to all of us and gave us support and energy to continue to hold strong and fight for our rights,” said Ramirez.

UFCW Local 1500 is urging the company to reinstate all unlawfully fired workers. Since January, the fired workers have received an outpouring of support from community and politicians who have called for a boycott of the store. The picket line remains up at 666 Lexington Ave. Mt. Kisco, NY. Last week, days after the federal complaint was issued and after 18 months on the job, Mrs. Green’s parent company, Natural Market Food Group CEO Robin Michel was ousted.

Updates on the workers and the case can be found at ufcw1500.org/greenismean.

Bhang Chocolate Workers Ratify First Contract

Agreement Sets New Standards, Raises Floor for Cannabis Industry Workers

Bhang ChocolateOakland,CAWorkers at Bhang Chocolate, a cannabis chocolate company in Oakland, Calif., voted overwhelmingly yesterday to ratify their first union contract, becoming members of the 33,000 member-strong United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 5, which is based in San Jose, Calif.

“We’re working towards a better future and this new contract is just the beginning,” said Beny Valencio, a chocolatier who has worked at Bhang Chocolate for more than two years.

Among other significant gains and protections for workers in the cannabis industry, the newly ratified contract provides for wage increases, employer health care contributions, paid sick leave and vacation benefits.

UFCW Local 5 members work primarily in retail grocery and meat processing with growing numbers employed in department stores, retail drug stores, candy stores, jewelry stores, agriculture and food processing, wholesale meat, seafood processing, financial services, education and the cannabis industry among others.

“This union contract means everyone at Bhang Chocolate has a voice and everyone will be heard,” said Becky Strider who has worked as a packer at Bhang Chocolate for the past four years.

In the United States and Canada, UFCW is the union for workers in the cannabis and hemp industries. UFCW members in the cannabis industry work predominantly in dispensaries, coffee shops, bakeries, patient identification centers, hydroponics stores, and growing and training facilities.

Headquartered in Oakland, Calif., Bhang Chocolate, an award-winning cannabis chocolate company, is the premier medically infused chocolate company.

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UFCW Local 5 is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. Visit cannabisworkers.org or Facebook.com/CannabisWorkers to learn more about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights in the cannabis and hemp industries.

 

 

UFCW Local 23 and Other Allies Launch ‘Pittsburgh Works’

1238913_1429554197311547_5239123021104960426_nAlong with Pittsburgh UNITED and other allies like Working America, UFCW Local 23 is helping to launch a new good jobs initiative called Pittsburgh Works.

The program will shine a light on good employers who invest in their workers, support workers–particularly low wage service workers–wherever they are, and call out employers who do not invest in their workforce, who aren’t good corporate neighbors, or who are bad actors in some way.

Local 23 began thinking about such an initiative in connection with its Giant Eagle campaign–to give kudos to grocers that treated workers well–but then expanded the idea to include other types of workers, like janitors and retailers.

On Tuesday, UFCW Local 23 members and other folks involved with the new program held an action to support Walmart moms who are currently on strike across the country, as they shine a light on Walmart’s retaliatory labor practices and policies that economically punish its workers.

Check out the Pittsburgh Works facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pittsburghworks and follow us them on Twitter and instagram @PittsburghWorks