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Cannabis Workers in Ohio Join Local 880

April 24, 2024

On March 13, workers at the Bloom Medicinals cannabis dispensary in Akron, Ohio, joined UFCW Local 880. This organizing win marks the first cannabis unit to be represented by the local.

The 18 workers are employed as dispensary agents and assist medical patients in finding the right cannabis treatment plans and products for their ailments, while maintaining the usual job duties of a pharmacy and retail front. These workers joined UFCW Local 880 because they were concerned about scheduling, favoritism, and punitive measures, and wanted a voice in the workplace.

The campaign to organize these workers included meeting with the workers regularly and using reflective engagement to build support. The workers highlighted issues of concern and rallied their colleagues to win support for the union. Through solidarity and perseverance, the workers came out on top.

“Why did we decide to organize? We saw several of our co-workers get disciplined or even terminated over policies that were unfairly enforced or were just made up on the spot,” said Bloom Medicinals employees Evelyn and Krispin. “We watched members of the crew be singled out as problematic, while others skated by because the bosses favored them. We saw our co-workers have to take abuse, verbal and sometimes physical, from patients and have no recourse to take action. So, we finally saw that the only way to ensure we were all treated fairly and with respect in a safe workplace was to organize and force them to hear our voices and concerns.”

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