Somerset, MA– Today, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local Union 328, which represents 11,000 workers in a variety of industries in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, announced that the hardworking team of budtenders employed at Solar Therapeutics in Somerset, Massachusetts, voted unanimously to approve their first union contract. The workers joined UFCW Local 328 in October, 2021, with a focus on gaining full-time opportunities, improving benefits, raising wages and securing important workplace protections. Their newly ratified 3-year agreement includes:
- Guaranteed wage increases
- Higher starting rates
- Improvements in paid sick leave and paid vacations
- Pathway to Full-Time employment
- Robust grievance procedure and workplace protections
- Improvement in paid breaks
- Improvement in paid holidays
- Protected time and a half on Sundays and Holidays
- Clothing allowance
- Newly established 401k plan
- Improvement in employee discounts
Andrea Areias Nooth, a budtender at the Somerset location and a member of the worker negotiating committee, stated after the ratification vote, “I am truly proud of my coworkers for working together to get this done as we help shape the future of the cannabis industry. The work put in to get to this point was definitely worth it, and I know this momentum will continue with other dispensaries around the country as this industry grows. Never be afraid to stand up for what you deserve.”
Sam Marvin, Director of Organizing at UFCW Local 328, said, “We congratulate the amazing team at Solar Therapeutics on voting to approve their first agreement that secures important gains and strengthens their futures at the company. By standing together, they were able to achieve this victory. Additionally, we recognize Solar Therapeutics for negotiating in good faith, listening to their employees and reaching an equitable agreement in a short timeframe.”
UFCW Local 328 represents over 11,000 workers in a range of industries across Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. As the recreational and medical cannabis industries have become mainstream across the United States, the UFCW has represented workers in cultivation and retail operations nationwide and has fought to ensure that working families have a seat at the table to secure important workplace protections and share in the gains and success of the cannabis industry. The UFCW currently is the largest representative of cannabis workers with tens of thousands of members in the industry nationwide.
Locally, UFCW Local 328 represents cannabis workers at Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center in Portsmouth, RI, Cresco cultivation workers in Fall River, MA, Curaleaf dispensary workers in Hanover, MA, and Solar Therapeutics workers in Somerset, MA.