Terminating Supporters Fails to Dissuade Workers from Organizing
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(CHICAGO) – Workers at the Verano/Zen Leaf Dispensary in the neighborhood of Pilsen have voted by margin of more than 90 percent to join Teamsters Local 777. The vote in favor of unionization comes in spite of the fact that the company fired union supporters during the campaign.
“These workers are brave, unwavering, and incredibly inspiring,” said Jim Glimco, Local 777 President. “They stood by one another during this campaign, and now over one million Teamsters throughout North America are going to stand by them as they fight for their first contract. This union is too strong to back down – not today, not next week, not ever.”
Jim Doane was one of the union supporters who was terminated during the organizing drive. Even though he lost his job, he continued to fight for a union at Zen Leaf Pilsen. He’s now organizing other cannabis workers with the Teamsters.
“One thing I learned from this experience is that we should have started sooner because it is extremely possible for cannabis workers to form and join a union,” Doane said. “I want the entire industry organized. Zen Leaf promised great jobs. It delivered…jobs. Every job in cannabis should support a middleclass lifestyle. Anyone in this country who works 40 hours a week deserves a middleclass lifestyle.”
“It’s an honor for the staff at Zen Leaf Pilsen to be a part of our movement,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters Food Processing Division Director. “These men and women recognize what cannabis workers all throughout the country are recognizing – the Teamsters are the strongest union for cannabis workers and the best positioned to turn jobs into careers.”
Founded in 1937, Teamsters Local 777 represents workers in a wide variety of industries throughout the Chicago area. For more information, go to https://www.teamsters777.org/.