Workers at Cultivate Holdings in Leicester, Massachusetts have voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1445, MassLive reports. The vote to join the union follows approvals by workers at least three other Massachusetts cannabis companies.
In July, dispensary employees at Mayflower Medicinals in Holliston, Massachusetts voted to join the UFCW Local 1445. That same month, employees at New England Treatment Access’ Franklin cultivation facility also voted to join the union; however, NETA dispensary employees in Brookline voted 30-9 against unionizing.
In 2019, more than 100 workers at Sira Naturals in Milford, Needham, and Somerville became the first in Massachusetts’ cannabis industry to unionize, joining the 1445.
Craig Chaplin, a Cultivate employee, called the move not just a victory for Cultivate employees “but for all cannabis workers.”
“We’ve set a precedent by working collectively that enables us not only to survive but to thrive.” – Chaplin in a statement via MassLive
The union noted that there is an ongoing campaign to organize Cultivate’s retail employees as well. Employees said they voted to join the union to improve working conditions through collective bargaining, achieve standardization of their relationship with management, and access to adequate health coverage, the union said in a news release.
“The UFCW applauds Cultivate for its commitment to [agricultural] workers and is justifiably encouraged by their inclusion as part of those workers who will benefit from organizing this emerging industry,” UFCW Local 1445 Secretary-Treasurer Fabricio DaSilva said in a statement.
UFCW bills itself as the largest U.S. private-sector union, representing 1.3 million people who work in the cannabis industry, grocery stores, retail sector, and meatpacking and food-processing facilities.
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