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More Sunnyside Cannabis Workers Join Local 881 in Illinois

June 30, 2021

On June 17, workers at the Sunnyside cannabis dispensary in Champaign, Ill., joined UFCW Local 881 for a better life.

An overwhelming majority of the 25 workers at the dispensary voted “yes” to join UFCW Local 881 because they were concerned about low wages, inadequate benefits, unpredictable scheduling of hours, and the lack of proper training. Sunnyside is owned and operated by Cresco, and these workers are the third group of Cresco workers to join UFCW Local 881, which also represents Cresco Labs in Joliet and the Sunnyside Dispensary in Chicago (Lakeview).

“We are so excited to move forward! Personally, I’m so proud of all my coworkers for standing together to tell the company that we know our value,” said Ramy Akram-Ahmed, a Sunnyside Champaign wellness advisor. “This is not only a huge day for us, but also the cannabis industry!”

“I’m so proud of what we achieved!” said Sarah Holder, who is also a Sunnyside Champaign wellness advisor. “We were able to come together to demand better working conditions, and I hope this encourages other dispensaries across Illinois to do the same.”

“Illinois welcomed the cannabis industry with open arms and the larger companies are clearly reaping all the benefits,” said UFCW Local 881 President Steve Powell. “Recreational cannabis legislation promised these companies would provide good jobs and benefit local communities. We strongly believe that these big cannabis companies have the ability to do so much better for their workers. UFCW Local 881 has been proud to help create better careers for cannabis workers, and we look forward to negotiating the security that only a union contract can provide for the Sunnyside Champaign workers.”