Curaleaf Holdings Inc. CURLF, one of the biggest legal cannabis cultivators and distributors in New Jersey and the U.S., intends to shut down one of its two cultivation sites in Camden County and potentially cut up to 40 jobs, according to a company statement made to NJ Advance Media.
Curaleaf officials said the company has decided to transfer its cultivation activities from Bellmawr to its other cultivation facility in Winslow. No transfer timeline was announced though the company said retail stores located in Edgewater Park, Bordentown and Bellmawr would not experience any layoffs.
“Curaleaf is gradually phasing out cultivation at our Bellmawr, NJ site to accommodate current business needs and will utilize this site for other activities at that time. This allows us to consolidate our production of key product platforms with our Winslow facility and streamline processes to increase production,” said Curaleaf spokesperson Stephanie Cunha, who affirmed Winslow has the capacity to meet all of NJ’s market demand.
Nevertheless, Hugh Giordano, a representative for United Food and Commercial Workers Local 360 met with a few of the 40 employees employed at the plantation after the announcement was made. Giordano said the workers were shocked and saddened by the news. He added that the workers had attempted to establish a union at the site but were obstructed by management. According to Giordano, the union submitted a complaint to the National Labor Relations Board nearly three weeks ago and is currently waiting for arbitration.
Union Means Strength
The potential job losses can be viewed as another step towards impeding the union's expansion efforts, said Giordano. However, Cunha did not reveal if this was the reason behind Curaleaf's decision to potentially stop cultivation at the facility.
Under the recently enacted law by Gov. Phil Murphy, which established a legal cannabis market in 2021, operators are obligated to sign an "industrial peace agreement." This agreement states that management will not hinder union activities and will engage in discussions when employees show interest, per NJ.Com.
Curaleaf has previously been involved in disputes with unions. Last autumn, the National Labor Relations Board declared that Curaleaf in Chicago had refused to negotiate with unionized workers, which constitutes a violation of federal law.
Additionally, a lawsuit was filed by a former employee of Curaleaf earlier this month, claiming that the company retaliated against her for speaking out during an investigation into alcohol usage at one of its pharmacies, reported Le High Valley Live.
Recent Curaleaf Layoffs
The MSO recently submitted its WARN notice to the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment, revealing that 47 employees will be laid off. These layoffs come as a part of the planned proactive closure of the majority of the company’s operations in California, Colorado and Oregon announced in January. These layoffs also follow a previous round that took place in November and resulted in some 220 employees losing their jobs.
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