Green Thumb Industries Workers Win 50% Wage Increase After 13-Day Strike
LOS ANGELES– Green Thumb Industries (GTI) has finally put an end to a 13-day-long strike by workers at two of its Illinois facilities, Rise Cannabis shops in Joliet and Niles. The International Brotherhood of Teamsters announced on Tuesday that the workers had won a 50% wage increase. However, a GTI spokesperson disputed this claim in an email on Thursday, stating that the company did not offer a wage increase to end the strike or pay employees to cross the picket line.
The strike started after GTI executives reportedly told staff they couldn’t wear pro-union buttons while on the job, which led to a federal complaint being filed over alleged union-busting tactics. The walkout began just one day before April 20, a cannabis holiday. The Teamsters, which supported the workers, have been making inroads with cannabis workers for years, and the gains they have made have led to larger companies in several states signing labor peace agreements.
Jim Glimco, president of Teamsters Local 777 in Chicago, praised the striking workers, saying: “These brave men and women just undertook the longest strike in the history of the cannabis industry because they’re not afraid of taking a stand.”
GTI has since welcomed back its employees to work, and negotiations are still ongoing. However, the Teamsters have not yet commented on the company’s statement disputing the wage increase claim. The GTI spokesperson wrote that the company remains committed to working towards an agreement and will continue to respect the rights of its employees while following all applicable federal and state labor laws.
As the cannabis industry continues to grow, labor unions such as the Teamsters and United Food and Commercial Workers Union have been making efforts to organize workers. The recent strike at GTI highlights the ongoing need for such efforts, and the challenges faced by cannabis industry workers in their pursuit of better working conditions and fair treatment.
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