Cannabis union forms in Battle Creek

942
Courtesy UFCW Local 951

Employees at a retail cannabis facility established a union.

The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 951 on Monday, April 18, said workers at Heritage Provisioning, a Battle Creek cannabis facility at 3769 W. Michigan Ave., now have union representation.

UFCW said this is the first group to authorize union representation in West Michigan for the industry.

“UFCW 951 is committed to raising the standards for all workers in this unique and rapidly developing industry,” said John Cakmakci, president of UFCW 951. “I’m excited and hopeful this will serve as a pathway to expanding union coverage to include more workers in the cannabis industry.”

All the employees at the facility signed up to join, and a committee soon will start to bargain their first contract.

Cakmakci said UFCW looks forward to bargaining a contract to allow the cannabis workers “guarantees and protections in the workplace,” as well as health care and competitive wages.

Workers at the dispensary see UFCW 951 union representation as a step in the right direction when it comes to a lasting career in an industry where employee turnover is high.

“I’m really excited to be a part of something bigger than just myself,” said Riley Boles, an employee at Heritage Provisioning. “My dad is a union member, and I’m proud to not only become one also, but to make history as the first UFCW 951 organized cannabis facility.”

Heritage Provisioning is owned and operated by William McKenzie, CEO and co-founder of Left Coast Holdings.

“We see our company values strongly aligned with those of the UFCW,” McKenzie said. “It felt like a synergistic move to partner with the union, creating a platform where people can get a good-paying job that turns into a career.”

Facebook Comments