Archive for July, 2015

What?!

After complaining about Wegman’s putting a store in New York City, now the UFCW wants to represent the store’s employees.

After complaining about Wegman’s putting a store in New York City, now the UFCW wants to represent the store’s employees.






Silencing Critics

sf weeklyA union boss wants the State of California to prohibit criticism of unions by marijuana business owners.

[Jim] Araby [executive director of UFCW’s Western States Council] is involved in the push to pass a bill that would, for the first time, regulate California’s cannabis industry at the state level. He wants to make sure that any regulations passed are friendly to labor. “For us,” Araby says at his one-man office in an Art Deco building in downtown Oakland, “two things need to be in every bill.” Those things are ensuring that dispensary owners allow union organizers into their shops and don’t speak ill of labor, and instituting a workplace training program similar to the ones in New York and Minnesota…

Just who would administer a cannabis apprenticeship program, however, isn’t clear. This will be a point of contention for the rest of the summer. The union, predictably, wants it to be the union. The industry, just as predictably, believes it has a good handle on things…

Meanwhile, UFCW is unapologetic about using the Legislature to achieve its ends.

A union boss wants the State of California to prohibit criticism of unions by marijuana business owners. [Jim] Araby [executive director of UFCW’s Western States Council] is involved in the push to pass a bill that would, for the first time, regulate California’s cannabis industry at the state level. He wants to make sure that […]






Looking out for #1

sf weeklyAlthough the UFCW is very eager to collect dues from marijuana industry workers, some question whether the union provides sufficient benefits.

More and more industry leaders see the union as an opportunistic outsider with one chief concern: the union. There are rumors that unless UFCW is included in the plans to legalize next year, it will work to block legalization entirely. The relationship is so uncomfortable that when a union lobbyist working on statewide policy paid a visit to a San Francisco dispensary, the shop’s executive director — who also happens to be a sitting Democratic politician — took him aside to say, “Let me tell you why we don’t need a union.”…

“They haven’t really hit their stride in providing benefits to their members,” says Brendan Hallinan, a San Francisco attorney who specializes in cannabis businesses, including one dispensary that agreed to sign up with the union, only to have organizers disappear until after their permit was won. “They were, I hate to say it, disorganized,” Hallinan says. “I have yet to hear anybody say that they received much benefit from being in the union.”

The UFCW lobbied successfully to deny a permit to a marijuana dispensary run by someone that the union was unhappy with.

Last fall, union honchos also pushed the city’s Planning Commission to deny a permit for a second dispensary location for SPARC, one of the city’s leading cannabis shops, which like other clubs is finding itself unable to meet the enormous demand for its products. (At the time, SPARC’s executive director, Robert Jacob, was the mayor of Sebastopol in Sonoma County, and had apparently failed to return a political favor.) The SPARC permit was denied, no small setback in a city where medical cannabis dispensary permits are so valuable that existing permit-holders are reportedly entertaining — and rejecting — six-figure offers for their permits… The episode led some to loudly question UFCW’s purpose.

Although the UFCW is very eager to collect dues from marijuana industry workers, some question whether the union provides sufficient benefits. More and more industry leaders see the union as an opportunistic outsider with one chief concern: the union. There are rumors that unless UFCW is included in the plans to legalize next year, it […]






Self-Serving

sf weeklyThe UFCW lobbies local government to make it easier to unionize marijuana shops — and reward compliant crony capitalists.

[The UFCW organizer] sold dispensary operators on UFCW’s political clout, leverage that could be used to win them local approval to open. The union also worked city halls. When Oakland chose to expand the number of permitted dispensaries allowed in town from four to eight, UFCW ensured that when the “merit-based” permit applications were considered, union membership counted. (Of the four that were granted permits, only Magnolia Wellness was — and still is — organized.) A similar reward for union membership is in place in Berkeley, which will select one of eight applicants for an additional dispensary permit later this year.

The UFCW lobbies local government to make it easier to unionize marijuana shops — and reward compliant crony capitalists. [The UFCW organizer] sold dispensary operators on UFCW’s political clout, leverage that could be used to win them local approval to open. The union also worked city halls. When Oakland chose to expand the number of […]






Meddling

noozhawkThe UFCW is meddling in politics in California.

The United Food & Commercial Workers Local 770 has endorsed Salud Carbajal for Congress.

UFCW Local 770 represents 30,000 workers in retail food and drug stores, packinghouses, pharmacies and laboratories across Southern California.

The UFCW is meddling in politics in California. The United Food & Commercial Workers Local 770 has endorsed Salud Carbajal for Congress. UFCW Local 770 represents 30,000 workers in retail food and drug stores, packinghouses, pharmacies and laboratories across Southern California.






Disregarding the Community

News Comments Off

The UFCW supported a marijuana dispensary that was opposed by the community. “The only dispensary [in San Francisco] that succeeded in securing a medical cannabis dispensary permit despite organized neighborhood opposition was the union-backed Mission Organics.”

You can read more about the fight here.

By admin On Jul 30, 2015 News Comments Off The UFCW supported a marijuana dispensary that was opposed by the community. “The only dispensary [in San Francisco] that succeeded in securing a medical cannabis dispensary permit despite organized neighborhood opposition was the union-backed Mission Organics.” You can read more about the fight here.






Coloradans Say, ‘No, Thanks’

Latest updates Comments Off

Coloradans in the marijuana industry chose not to buy what the UFCW was selling.

When merchants in Denver opened their doors on New Year’s Day 2014 to mark the first legal recreational marijuana sales in American history, not a single union worker could be found. Organizers blame Colorado’s independent streak and less labor-friendly laws for being left out of the country’s biggest recreational cannabis economy.

By admin On Jul 30, 2015 Latest updates Comments Off Coloradans in the marijuana industry chose not to buy what the UFCW was selling. When merchants in Denver opened their doors on New Year’s Day 2014 to mark the first legal recreational marijuana sales in American history, not a single union worker could be found. […]