Union Vows to Fight to Ensure Pay Increases Made Permanent

1.6 min readPublished On: May 3rd, 2023By

JOLIET, Ill.– A 13-day Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike led by Teamsters Local 777 members at two Rise Cannabis dispensaries in Joliet, Ill. and one in Niles, Ill. has forced the parent company, Green Thumb Industries (GTI), to raise wages by 50 percent during the strike. The workers are now returning to their jobs and demanding that the wage increases be made permanent.

“GTI broke the law, and we will hold them accountable legally to make sure they pay,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters Western Region International Vice President and Food Processing Division Director. “Whether it’s direct action, or a legal battle, the 1.3 million members of the Teamsters Union will continue to stand with cannabis workers in this historic fight.”

Federal labor law suggests if an employer makes a unilateral wage increase during collective bargaining, those wage increases are precedent-setting. The company also committed additional ULPs during the ULP strike, including unlawful surveillance and the promise of promotions for those who crossed the picket line.

“This is just the beginning,” said Jim Glimco, President of Local 777. “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. We’re showing the whole industry that if you don’t play by the rules, we will pull your card.”

“We’re looking forward to seeing these raises in writing and also getting back to our customers and patients,” said Heather Alvarado, a cannabis worker at the Rise Niles location. “A lot of them suffered as a result of the company causing this to happen, and we’re glad that the strike is over. We would like to thank all of the elected officials, customers, and community allies who have shown their support and continue to stick with us as this fight for better wages, retirement security, and fair treatment continues.”

This press release was from the Teamsters Local 777.

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