Workers at Connecticut’s largest cannabis cultivation facility have joined United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 919, the News Times reports. More than 70 workers at CTPharma’s facility in Rocky Hill voted to join the union on June 13 and the contract was ratified later in the month.
CTPharma is owned by Verano, which is based in Illinois.
The CTPharma workers are the second cannabis cultivation facility employees to join a union in the state – in May workers at Advanced Grow Labs voted to join Local 919, becoming the first cannabis cultivation employees in the state to do so.
In a statement, UFCW Director of Organizing Emily Sabo said the workers joined the union because they wanted “to make sure that they have a voice that matters at work and that this industry is equitable for the workers, too.”
“So whatever that looks like, with how automation changes will end up affecting the cannabis industry inevitably, just like every other industry, they want to have those workplace protections and those conversations and the ability to talk about those things with their employer.” — Sabo via the News Times
Under Connecticut law, cannabis business licensees are required to have a labor peace agreement in place. Sabo explained that while every cannabis business in the state is required to have such an agreement, that does not mean a union will form, though it’s more likely to happen.
“A labor peace agreement means that an operator will remain neutral and fair if workers want to form a union,” she told the News Times. “In return, the union agrees and the workers are agreeing not to picket, no work stoppages, strikes, etc., in exchange for the neutrality.”
The union includes workers in all areas of the facility.
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