Cannabis Retailer Signs Global Collective Bargaining Agreement
The largest cannabis employer in the state of California, Shryne Group Inc., and the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) have entered into a historic collective bargaining agreement (CBA) for more than 1,200 cannabis retail workers at Shryne Group’s STIIIZY, Authentic and Flight retail locations, creating a first of its kind global agreement to benefit retail workers immediately throughout California.
“UFCW is committed to establishing and maintaining high standards for cannabis workers,” said Joe Duffle, president of UFCW Local 1167. “This agreement is historic for the number of workers it covers at one of the most well-known companies in the industry, and it has the potential to be a model contract for all employers who put the respect and dignity of workers as a top priority. Together, we can continue to raise standards for everyone in this rapidly developing industry.”
One of the fastest-growing cannabis brands in the world, STIIIZY along with its sister stores Authentic and Flight, made history by coming together with the union to offer competitive wages and benefits. STIIIZY will continue to implement local hiring practices that ensure these union jobs aid the local community. The majority of STIIIZY employees are historically under-represented and under-protected in the cannabis industry, with people of color making up more than 56%.
“We applaud the Shryne Group for its commitment to its workers and our communities by having a universal CBA in place,” said Mark Ramos, president of UFCW Local 1428. “Their commitment to retail workers’ rights and putting employees’ health and safety first set an encouraging example for the rest of the emerging cannabis industry.”
While previous California cannabis contracts were negotiated regionally or locally, the new agreement covers retail employees throughout the state, offering quality healthcare benefits, workplace protections, competitive standardized wages with annual increases, pension contributions (from a first-of-its-kind, employer-funded pension plan), generous sick leave policy, and guarantees of hours.
“This is the first time a company of any kind, not just cannabis, has sought out various chapter presidents of a union, bringing everyone to the table to create a universal CBA, to cover all our retail locations, including new stores yet to open,” said Raquel Origel, board member and acting head of HR at Shryne Group. “As a woman of color, I am proud that we went beyond words and took decisive action to ensure workers’ rights are protected and prioritized.”
“We see this global agreement as a great benefit for legalized cannabis, creating a uniform set of workers’ rights and protections across the state of California,” noted Tak Sato, president of Shryne Group. “We appreciate the UFCW’s shared vision of building the cannabis industry together.”