Cannabis retailer “Have a Heart” and workers union “United Food and Commercial Workers 21 (UFCW21)” have signed Washington state’s first cannabis collective bargaining agreement, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
“This relationship is quite unusual, in a very positive sense. It’s rare for an employer and their employees to reach a first contract so quickly and one that is so promising for current and future employees. These partnerships strengthen individuals, families and communities – and lead to superior service for customers.” — Todd Crosby, UFCW 21 President, via Seattle PI
Have a Heart’s 134 employees now have a bargaining agreement in place that currently guarantees “above-average compensation for the industry,” comprehensive health and welfare coverage, and other benefits. Have a Heart operates five retail locations in Washington and has other locations in states with legal cannabis.
“At Have a Heart, we believe in doing good. We consistently strive to have a positive impact in the neighborhoods where we do business, and we see our partnership with UFCW 21 as part of our commitment to creating a safe and empowering workplace.” — Ryan Kunkel, CEO of Have a Heart, via Seattle PI
UFCW21 represents over 1.3 million workers in the U.S. and Canada in a wide variety of industries. UFCW21 first started working with the cannabis industry in 2010 in California. Through 2011, the union signed many medical cannabis businesses in California as well as 8,000 employees in Colorado.
UFCW21 has made it a mission to organize within the cannabis industry, though complicated federal cannabis statutes and issues with labor union laws have caused the union difficulty.