Members of Teamsters Local 777 employed by Enlightened Dispensary – a subsidiary of Revolution Global – engaged in an unfair labor practice strike yesterday outside of the company's dispensary in Schaumburg, Ill.
"We took this unprecedented step because this company has been playing dirty from the very beginning, and now they're coming after our members," stated Jim Glimco, Local 777 president. "Neither Enlightened nor its parent company could possibly care less about the community, the workers, or even the plant. All they care about are quarterly earnings reports."
Enlightened workers joined Local 777 last year, winning an election even after a nasty union-busting campaign in which the employer terminated Teamster supporters during the organizing drive. Since then, Local 777 has filed multiple unfair labor practice charges against the company for its failure to bargain in good faith. In addition to its obstinance during this process, the company has been violating labor law in other ways.
"The company has been retaliating against union activists such as myself by treating us worse than our coworkers and unlawfully refusing to acknowledge our rights under the National Labor Relations Act," Maldonado stated. "The harassment and unfair treatment needs to stop immediately."
Amy Schneider is a member of the negotiating committee who has worked at the dispensary since it opened nearly two years ago.
"In addition to management harassing pro-union staff members, there's not even a company representative present during our negotiation sessions," Schneider stated. "It's just their lawyer, who can't even make decisions on behalf of the employer. They don't want to agree to the most basic aspects of a union contract. Getting them just to show up is like pulling teeth. All I want is for Enlightened Cannabis to negotiate a fair contract and stop targeting us."
Peter Finn, Teamsters food processing division director, stated, "We work together as partners with cannabis employers that value and understand their obligations to key stakeholders, such as the community and their staff. To the big conglomerates out there like Revolution Global that disrespect the very people who are responsible for their success, you're on notice. The Teamsters have never been scared of a fight, and we're not going anywhere."
The Teamsters do have a good track record of not backing off, as they managed to unionize Verano VRNOF Zen Leaf Dispensary in the neighborhood of Pilsen, in August, in spite of the fact that the company fired union supporters during the campaign.
Recent unionizations accomplished by the Teamsters were Cresco Labs’ CRLBF Sunnyside Dispensary in Schaumburg, that joined the Teamsters in September and Ascend Wellness Holdings AAWH dispensary in Boston, that joined Teamsters Local 25 in August.
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Photo: Courtesy of Teamsters Local 777
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