California Cannabis Regulators Deem National Agricultural Workers Union a Fake Labor Organization

The California Department of Cannabis Control has clarified that the National Agricultural Workers Union is not a bona fide labor organization following reports from earlier this year that the organization is one of many “fake” unions in the space.

Full story after the jump.

The California Department of Cannabis Control (DCC) on Tuesday clarified that the National Agricultural Workers Union (NAWU) is not a bona fide labor organization and that cannabis licensees required to have labor peace agreements in place who entered into an agreement with the NAWU are out of compliance with licensure requirements.  

The state had been investigating the organization as a “fake” union and had received a complaint from the International Brotherhood of Teamsters in July, according to an MJBizDaily report. The NAWU had entered into labor peace agreements with licensees under the Caliva brand name, the report says.  

An investigation into the Teamsters’ claims by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) found that the NAWU had “no employees,” only one member, and that the NAWU’s total receipts for three years, including union dues, amounted to zero. 

“NAUW claimed that after it was founded as a ‘grassroots’ labor organization in early 2020, it attempted to organize workers using volunteers, but was met with obstacles such as the COVID-19 pandemic and cannabis workers’ lack of interest,” the ALRB said in its decision. “However, NAWU did not provide any evidence to support its claim that it made efforts to organize and represent cannabis workers, such as literature, brochures, or flyers distributed to the workers. NAWU failed to show that it had any meaningful online presence where individuals could have learned about the organization.” 

According to the DCC, any agreements made with the NAUW are null and void.  

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