Workers at a medical marijuana dispensary in St. Louis became the first cannabis industry workers in Missouri to vote to join a union on Monday, April 4.
The eight workers at Root 66 on S. Grand voted unanimously to authorize United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655 to begin bargaining with their employer on their behalf in order to reach an agreement on a union contract. UFCW Local 655 is the largest private sector local union in the state, representing some 8,500 members throughout the eastern half of Missouri.
“Cannabis workers across the country are voting to join a union because they know it’s the best way to secure good wages and benefits on the job,” said UFCW Local 655 President David Cook. “Workers need economic security and fair treatment in the workplace, and cannabis workers are no different. We are committed to helping cannabis workers across Missouri.”
Nationally, UFCW represents the overwhelming majority of union cannabis workers across the country as the industry continues to grow.
WORKERS CITE NEED FOR CONSISTENCY, BETTER BENEFITS
Root 66 employees cited the need for better benefits, including paid sick leave and vacation, as one of their primary concerns.
Root 66 employee Prince Israel said that consistency in the workplace and better benefits were his highest priorities.
“If there are changes made to policy we deserve to understand why, and right now it feels like they can just change things whenever they want and that makes it difficult on us,” Israel said. “Benefits are also very important to us. We really like what we do and we want these jobs to be good jobs for all of us.”