UFCW Local 328 News

First Unionized Cannabis Workers in Rhode Island Win Bonus Pay Program

Perfect Union, one of the nation’s premier cannabis dispensary operations and the parent company of Ocean State Cultivation Center, a facility located in Warwick, Rhode Island, announced the extension of their retail-industry leading coronavirus bonus pay program for employees. The company, which operates vertically integrated dispensaries in California, New Mexico and Rhode Island began paying all employees an additional $2.50/hour on March 16th .

The bonus pay extends to over 200 dedicated Perfect Union employees, including those working in cultivation, distribution, manufacturing and retail.  Most of the employees are members of our United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union. The UFCW has been a big advocate of creating a meaningful bonus pay structure for their members who are working during these challenging times to provide essential services to others. In September 2019, the employees at Ocean State Cultivation Center became the first cannabis workers in Rhode Island to unionize when they joined UFCW Local 328. During this crisis, they are working hard to cultivate safe and reliable medicine for patients across the state of Rhode Island.

“We are proud of the way the Perfect Union organization stepped up to ensure we could maintain the highest level of service and care for our patients and guests,” said David Spradlin, CEO of Perfect Union. “I am grateful to our employees for their dedication and heroics during this time of crisis. I am happy we are in position to be able to give a little more to our employees and their families during this unprecedented time.” 

Perfect Union was one of the first dispensaries in the nation to partner with the UFCW, ensuring a fair living wage and health benefits to their hourly employees. Together, we’ve been able to ensure employees are being taken care of during this critical time.

“We are focused on the health and safety of all workers as well as the communities and patients they continue to serve during this crisis,” said Timothy Melia, President of UFCW Local 328. “Our communities benefit when responsible employers like Perfect Union work together in partnership with their employees and their representatives to afford workers a safe workplace, a better future and a reliable and safe product that patients and consumers can depend on.”

“In these uncertain times, we’ve found comfort in having the security and protections afforded to us through employment at Ocean State Cultivation Center and our membership with the UFCW”, said Matthew Baryshyan, an employee at OSCC. 

In addition to the bonus pay for employees, Perfect Union has also instituted a series of industry leading steps to ensure the safety and security of their workers and guests. These steps include procedures from designated hand wash stations inside the dispensaries to controlled entry to allow for adequate social distancing. Additionally, Perfect Union is providing support that goes beyond the robust Family First Coronavirus Response Act protections by expanding coverage on a case by case basis depending on individual needs.