Cresco Labs Cannabis Cultivation Employees In Massachusetts Ditch Union

In a reversal for organized labor after years of positive momentum in the regulated marijuana industry, employees at a Cresco Labs cannabis cultivation facility in Fall River, Massachusetts, voted to de-unionize earlier this month, according to documents obtained by MJBizDaily.

The situation is believed to be the first instance in the U.S. of a regulated cannabis workplace exiting organized labor.

Gardeners, supervisors and other agricultural workers at Cresco’s Fall River cultivation operation had joined the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 328 in November 2020.

Their first contract was set to expire in June.

But rather than negotiate a new deal, the workers elected to ditch the UFCW entirely, Cresco employee Wyatt Brissette told MJBizDaily.

Sore points among the formerly unionized workers included scheduled wage increases that didn’t keep up with inflation and “arguably worse benefits” than what nonunion workers received, he said.

None of the benefits seemed to justify the $40 monthly union dues, Brissette said.

“We felt as if (the union) didn’t match what we needed,” he said. “We were pretty much paying them for nothing.”

It was Brissette who initiated the de-unionization, a process called “decertification,” according to Massachusetts Division of Labor Relations records.

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