News : West Michigan Cannabis Workers Celebrate 4/20 By Saying “Union Yes!”

West Michigan Cannabis Workers Celebrate 4/20 By Saying “Union Yes!”

4/18/2022 5:00:00 AM

GRAND RAPIDS, MI  -- The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 951 announced today that workers at Heritage Provisioning, a Battle Creek retail cannabis facility, became the first such group to authorize union representation in West Michigan
GRAND RAPIDS, MI  -- The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 951 announced today that workers at Heritage Provisioning, a Battle Creek retail cannabis facility, became the first such group to authorize union representation in West Michigan.
   “UFCW 951 is committed to raising the standards for all workers in this unique and rapidly developing industry,” John Cakmakci, UFCW 951 president, said. “We celebrate with the workers today and look forward to bargaining a contract that will give them the guarantees and protections in the workplace they deserve, along with competitive wages and quality healthcare. I’m excited and hopeful this will serve as a pathway to expanding union coverage to include more workers in the cannabis industry.”
   Workers at the dispensary see UFCW 951 union representation as a step in the right direction when it comes to a lasting career in an industry known for high employee turnover. One hundred percent of the workers at the facility signed up to join the union and a committee will soon start to bargain their first contract.
   “I’m really excited to be a part of something bigger than just myself,” Riley Boles, a worker at Heritage Provisioning, said. “My dad is a union member and I’m proud to not only become one also, but to make history as the first UFCW 951 organized cannabis facility.”
   Heritage Provisioning is owned and operated by William McKenzie, CEO and co-founder of Left Coast Holdings, a company quickly expanding with multiple dispensaries throughout Michigan.
   “We see our company values strongly aligned with those of the UFCW," McKenzie said. "It felt like a synergistic move to partner with the union; creating a platform where people can get a good paying job that turns into a career."
   UFCW 951 is a progressive labor union representing over 28,000 workers across Michigan in a variety of industries including cannabis, grocery, retail, food processing and pharmacy, who are employed at a variety of companies including Meijer, Kroger, Rite Aid, JBS, JLL, Knouse Foods, Polly’s and Harding’s. There are over 1.3 million UFCW members nationwide.
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