Illinois Cannabis Retail Workers Join UFCW Union

Illinois Cannabis Retail Workers Join UFCW Union

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) scored another win in its mission to unionize more members to the cannabis industry. 

“It feels great to finally have a contract. Unionizing has been a long process, but it absolutely paid off. We now have a contract that was drafted with the help of employee representatives, and the staff at Sunnyside Campaign were able to make their voices heard by voting yes,” Sarah Holder, Sunnyside Campaign Wellness Advisor, said in a news release. 

This win came to them when the employees at the Sunnyside marijuana retail store in Champaign, Illinois, voted to ratify their first official union contract late last month.

The Sunnyside company is a marijuana retail store that sells cannabis products in containers with child-proof caps and different compliant packaging. The business is operated and owned by Chicago-based cannabis multistate operators Cresco Labs.

According to a recent news release, each of the 22 retail workers will be represented by Local 881 UFCW.

This will mark the third Local 881 union contract validated by Illinois marijuana workers for the past two years, marking a huge step forward for the state’s cannabis industry. 

Local 881 UCFW representatives negotiated a contract addressing many of the marijuana retail workers’ concerns, according to the news release. 

The Sunnyside cannabis retail workers stated their concerns included annual wage increases, a ratification bonus, guaranteed paid time off, a set employee product discount, and a grievance procedure related to any disciplinary actions. 

A significant benefit of being a part of a union like the UFCW is that it dramatically helps protect workers from getting illegally fired. 

Union membership proved to be beneficial to cannabis retail employees during the pandemic. 

The marijuana industry didn’t face the “Great Resignation,” and cannabis businesses remained open. Therefore, it’s only fitting that the people working during the pandemic should also acquire the appropriate protection to keep their jobs from being wrongfully terminated. 

The UCFW represented an estimated 10,000 workers or more in the legal U.S. cannabis sector as of the end of 2021. Last year, the labor union was able to win a series of unionization votes in places other than just Illinois. These states include New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, and even California. 

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