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Union drives ahead for cannabis industry

Friday, Jun 21, 2019

* Hannah Meisel

Organized labor helped push the bill to legalize recreational marijuana across the finish line in the closing days of the spring legislative session last month, but unions’ involvement in the marijuana industry is likely only just budding. […]

Hundreds, if not thousands of jobs could be created in the emerging industry, sponsors and proponents of legalization have said repeatedly. Unions like the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881 and Service Employees International Union Local 1 had been at the negotiating table for months working on the marijuana legalization bill. […]

“They missed opportunities to really fix some wrongs,” [Beniamino Capellupo, the executive director of SEIU Local 1] said of other states. “The sort of failed war on drugs. Who’s that affected? We got into this with the understanding that this bill needed to come from a social equity and expungement point of view first and foremost. If that wasn’t included in the bill, we would not have been a supporter of it.”

SEIU Local 1, which represents more than 50,000 service workers like custodians and security officers in states all over the Midwest, also stands to represent future workers in the recreational marijuana industry. Already, Local 1 represents approximately 8,000 security officers in the Chicagoland area, according to the union’s communications director Izabela Miltko. […]

(U)nionized security officers also offer an added benefit to recreational cannabis dispensaries, Miltko said, in the form of less employee turnover.

“If security officers are allowed to join in unions, not only are they fighting for better wages, healthcare and benefits, they’re able to really lift the industry standard,” she said.

* Accompanying graphic

[Hat tip: Jake]

I want one of those.

* Bloomberg

Organized labor will have strong opportunities for organizing those workers under the licensing requirements laid out in H.B. 1438, Koutsky said. Companies seeking operating licenses would be given credit for adhering to “labor peace agreements,” by which the licensee couldn’t interfere with a union’s efforts to organize and represent workers’ interests.

“You have seen this emerging as a standard approach in the states where this is happening,” said Koutsky, who worked with lawmakers drafting the bill. “So Illinois is in line with what’s happening elsewhere, but this is a significant step that Illinois is taking because it is the first state where this happened through a legislative process rather than a rulemaking or administrative approach.”

Koutsky said the UFCW would take a lead role organizing Illinois workers engaged in the cultivation, testing, and sales of cannabis products. That effort meshes with the UFCW’s national goals under its Cannabis Workers Rising campaign, which has organized more than 10,000 cannabis workers in states with medical and recreational marijuana programs.

As a jurisdictional matter, Koutsky said the SEIU would likely have authority to try to represent security personnel hired in cannabis facilities. The Teamsters would have jurisdiction for workers transporting cannabis products and driving armored trucks, he said.

* Other stuff…

* Marijuana legalization poses real questions for employers

* New book a radical retelling of labor movement collapse

* Illinois governor could soon consider watered-down corporate diversity bill

- Posted by Rich Miller        

27 Comments
  1. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 11:38 am:

    Cue IPI outrage and predictable talking points in 3,2,1…

    I want one of those union pins, too. It’s what I thought when I saw it.

    Pritzker is expected to sign the marijuana legalization bill on June 25. Terrific.


  2. - Blue Dog Dem - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 11:43 am:

    All this and i will take bets saying there is less union members after JBs first term. Reason why. Union folks dont support one another.


  3. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 11:51 am:

    “Reason why. Union folks dont support one another.”

    Union members supported each other real good, against Rauner. If he had his way unions would have been decimated. Someone once reported that Rauner told a senator or someone that if he had his way, there would be zero unions in Illinois.


  4. - the Patriot - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    Unions all in on industry with that operates on an all cash basis, no tracking, no oversight, and no regulation…shocking.


  5. - a drop in - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 11:57 am:

    “I want one of those.”

    Sales could be a boost to Union revenue.


  6. - Lurker - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 11:59 am:

    I … uhm …. work here and do that thing and I … um … lost me badge and … er … need to get a new one.

    Where do I re-order this teamster cannabis badge?


  7. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 12:00 pm:

    June 25 is anniversary of Custer’s last stand


  8. - Buck'n'Irish - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 12:00 pm:

    Ironic that the teamsters transporting weed will not be able to smoke that weed.


  9. - Doolittle - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 12:04 pm:

    I’m concerned that the “social equity” business preferences and grant and loan programs will be a major campaign issue.


  10. - Nick Name - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 12:05 pm:

    ===is likely only just budding===

    LOL


  11. - Rockford's Finest - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 12:08 pm:

    Those are rad.

    Thanks @Grandson of Man — I was wondering when the Gov would sign.


  12. - Chicago Dope Grower's Union - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 12:17 pm:

    This was clear from the text of the bill. Teamsters pushed for neutrality right after Mr. Speaker said he was on board. When I was in Washington State you could buy cannabis with a union label, from a union dispensary.

    As an aside Teamster Cannabis Pins can be purchased here - https://teamsterwear.com/c/30/promotional-products/#.XQ0PVutKiJA


  13. - Bilbo Swaggins - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 12:23 pm:

    Really missing the boat on not calling Teamsters Cannabis Workers the Weedsters.


  14. - City Zen - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 12:26 pm:

    People can get marijuana anywhere, ok? They come to Potskie’s for the atmosphere and the attitude. That’s what the flair’s about. It’s about fun.

    So, please, put on your horsehead pin and smile.


  15. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 12:34 pm:

    ===Teamster Cannabis Pins can be purchased here===

    Thanks! I bought 10 of them. lol


  16. - CT Resident - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 1:00 pm:

    Ugh, just wanted 1, but $12 for shipping!


  17. - branding, branding, branding - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    Hoffa’s Herb
    CabOver Reefer
    Convoy Cheeba


  18. - Beefo Stagnursky - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 1:49 pm:

    The vans and cars that are driven by Teamsters that transport the weed will be getting “high” jacked regularly now.
    Anybody see Goodfellas?


  19. - City Zen - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 1:51 pm:

    ==but $12 for shipping!==

    Um, it’s the Teamsters.


  20. - Rich Miller - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 1:54 pm:

    ===$12 for shipping! ===

    Yeah, kind of steep. But it’s the same $12 for large orders. So, buy more. Or buy a t-shirt. lol


  21. - Name game - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 2:03 pm:

    Wiggle Wagon Weed
    Semi Sinsemilla
    Vroom Choom


  22. - Name game - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    Perhaps the teamsters and other unions will issue some sort of joint statement.


  23. - 47th Ward - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 2:45 pm:

    ===$12 for shipping===

    Union drivers.


  24. - Amalia - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    Want. This. And the product.


  25. - DC - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 3:32 pm:

    The state employees who inspect the crops, packaging, facilities, etc. are already represented by IFT!


  26. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 4:24 pm:

    Organized labor working with this industry is a good way to keep both around for a very long time.

    Prices will reflect labor costs too… and that’s not too bad of a deal when the legality of it now creates not only jobs, but an industry.

    Raunerites, take note. Labor a partner in industry.


  27. - Winderweezle - Friday, Jun 21, 19 @ 5:07 pm:

    Teamsters? No way.

    They should be Pipefitters Local 420.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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