On March 31, workers at Windy City Cannabis in Chicago joined UFCW Local 881 for the better wages and benefits that come with a union contract. Windy City Cannabis, which is located on Weed Street in Chicago, is owned by the Massachusetts-based company Curaleaf, which currently operates 10 dispensary locations in Illinois.
The Windy City Cannabis workers were motivated to join our union family because they were concerned about their working conditions at the dispensary, including health and safety issues, ventilation problems, inadequate wages, a lack of benefits, and a serious need for more COVID-19 protocols and protections for employees and customers.
“I am so proud of my coworkers 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!”
“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,” said Jake, a product specialist at Windy City Cannabis. “We are super excited to start the collective bargaining for better pay, better benefits, and a union contract. We hope that our bosses will meet us in good faith at the bargaining table and 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,” said UFCW Local 881 President Steve Powell. “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). 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!”