Cultivation Workers At Mayflower Medicinals Join Union
Workers at the Mayflower Medicinals cannabis production facility in Holliston, Massachusetts, won their election by an overwhelming majority and will join Massachusetts’s Cannabis Union, Local 1445 UFCW. The cultivation and manufacturing facility owned by iAnthus employs 40 people and supplies dispensaries in the Greater Boston Area.
“The entire process has tested everyone’s resolve, but we came through in the end and are ecstatic with the result,” said Dave Schermerhorn, a Mayflower employee. “This group is proud to be one of the first cannabis cultivation workers to unionize with Local 1445 UFCW and participate in the growth of a professional workforce in the Massachusetts cannabis industry.”
The workers at Mayflower are part of a first wave of organizing by workers in the Massachusetts cannabis industry and their vote to unionize is the largest to date. They were motivated to unionize to improve their working conditions, but the recent impact of COVID-19 on their daily duties made the need for clearly defined workplace policies and procedures clear, according to a statement from Local 1445 UFCW. Workers cited issues such as a lack of consistent treatment from management, unclear and slow response to the challenges of the coronavirus, and a lack of adequate health coverage as reasons for the vote.
“This is a great outcome for workers at Mayflower and they should be commended for the example they are setting,” said Local 1445 Secretary Treasurer and Organizing Director Fabricio Da Silva. “More Massachusetts cannabis workers will have an opportunity to ensure the beginnings of this industry, and the working conditions in all these facilities are equitable and standardized. The ripple effect being felt today in Massachusetts cannabis will serve working families from largely disenfranchised populations and help them to achieve better careers and better futures – it’s a cause worth fighting for. Local 1445 is proud of these workers and looks forward to negotiating their first contract.”
Local 1445 is among the largest affiliates of the United Food and Commercial Workers in Massachusetts. UFCW members in the legal cannabis industry work in growing and cultivating facilities, manufacturing, and processing facilities, and in laboratories and dispensaries.