Earlier this month, several UFCW leaders and rank-and-file members attended the Black CannaBiz Expo and Conference in New Orleans, La., to share their unique perspectives on how racial and social equity in the cannabis industry can only be achieved by prioritizing workers’ rights.
At the three-day conference, Aquila Barbosas Rodrigues from UFCW Local 1445, Zion Grae-El from UFCW Local 3000, and Aly Silver from UFCW Local 338 RWDSU-UFCW participated on a panel alongside International Representative Mecca Ross and CEO of Cannabliss and union advocate Norbert Pickett.
The worker-led panel highlighted the essential role the UFCW plays in helping to build a more equitable cannabis industry from the ground-up. “I feel like unions are the great equalizers because they create generational wealth by giving us the promotions and the benefits and the raises that we deserve,” said Silver. “Union contracts close gender and racial gaps… and that is essential for the Black and Brown workers in this industry.”
In addition to Friday’s worker panel, LaQuita Honeysucker, Director of the Civil Rights and Community Action Department, and Ademola Oyefeso, International Vice President and Director of the Legislative and Political Action Department, participated in a Town Hall that focused on racial and social equity in the cannabis industry, the necessity of federal and state cannabis legislation that prioritizes workers’ rights, and the role that UFCW plays in ensuring that every cannabis workers has the right to a good union job.
You can watch the Equity For Workers in Today’s Cannabis Industry: A Workers Panel here.