Secretary-Treasurer’s Report

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RICHARD BARRERA
Secretary-Treasurer

UFCW Local 135 Organizes Our First Cannabis Facility

Our 14,000 Local 135 members are proud to welcome workers at the Apothekare Cannabis Dispensary in Mission Valley to our Union family. Last month, Apothekare workers voted unanimously to join our Union, and we have now begun negotiations for a first contract. Our Apothekare workers in San Diego have joined with cannabis workers from Los Angeles and the Inland Empire for joint negotiations with Americann Company, the owner of Apothekare.
In many ways the issues that are important to our Cannabis members are the same as in our grocery stores, drug stores and other employers. Workers want decent wages, affordable health care, predictable schedules and dignity and respect on the job.
But in some ways, the issues facing cannabis workers are unique in that it is a new and constantly evolving industry. Local 135 members Bryanna Salewsky and Larry Fennell are at the bargaining table in negotiations that will make labor history as entire job classifications and wage scales are being created and defined for the first time.
The contract that will emerge from these negotiations will lay the foundation for the entire cannabis industry moving forward, which could eventually include thousands of Union workers.
Bryanna and Larry represented our Union well in grappling with their sisters and brothers from Locals 770 and 1167 in determining what would be a fair and safe workplace in their industry.
The fact that workers have a voice in these negotiations demonstrates how important it is that cannabis facilities are Unionized. With a Union, cannabis workers can create well-run facilities that are safe for themselves, their customers and the community. Without a Union, workers, customers and communities are left vulnerable to a dangerous and exploitative illicit market.
We hope to conclude negotiations this month and then move forward with organizing many more workers in the cannabis industry over the next few years.
Thank you to Bryanna and Larry and your co-workers at Apothekare for being pioneers in the next wave of our labor movement.