Teamsters Local 777 members at three dispensaries operated by Rise – a subsidiary of Green Thumb Industries (GTI) – have ratified their first collective bargaining agreements with the multi-state cannabis operator. The contract ratifications at two locations in Joliet, Ill. and another in Niles, Ill. mark the end of a protracted fight with GTI that included a 13-day work stoppage that ended back in May – the longest Unfair Labor Practice strike at a cannabis retailer in U.S. history.
"Let this be a lesson to cannabis companies all across not just Illinois, but the entire country – Teamsters don't back down," said Jim Glimco, Local 777 President. "A lot of people who went through what these men and women went through, they would've thrown in the towel. Not this group. They're young, energetic, tough, smart; they look out for one another, and they embody what being a part of this union is all about."
"We're happy that we were able to reach an agreement that was both amenable to all parties involved and consistent with the high standards that Teamsters have for our collective bargaining agreements," said Peter Finn, Teamsters Western Region International Vice President and Food Processing Division Director. "We look forward to having a productive relationship with GTI moving forward, and to continuing our effort to bring more long-term, prosperous careers to workers at this company."
The strong contracts not only codify a number of benefits, but also include significant improvements. These include wage increases of 18 percent over the lifetime of the agreement, attendance bonuses, a scheduling policy based on seniority, guaranteed tips and discounts, improved safety standards, and protection against unjust termination or discipline.
"I could not be prouder of myself and my coworkers for achieving this first, historic collective bargaining agreement," said Reilly Drew, a Rise worker who served on the bargaining committee. "We started as a small but united group of workers. Over the last year and a half, we have grown to be a strong union, changed our workplace for the better, and forged a bright path forward for workers in our industry."
"It took longer than expected, but we persevered," said Tim Burns, another Rise worker who served on the bargaining committee. "I'm happy we got it done and established a foundation for cannabis workers here at Rise."