Fulton County, New York – October 10, 2016 – Two years after medical marijuana was passed into law in New York, members of RWDSU/UFCW Local 338 working at Vireo Health have ratified a first contract with the medical marijuana cultivation and processing company. The contract is the first in the history of New York State’s new medical cannabis industry.
The contract covers workers at Vireo Health’s facility in Fulton County and at all four of its New York state dispensaries located in Albany, Johnson City (Binghamton), Queens, and White Plains. The contract provides workers with paid time off for holidays, sick days, and vacation, as well as bereavement leave. Workers will receive retirement benefits through an annuity fund that the company is paying for. Full-time workers will also be receiving medical coverage for themselves and their families under the contract. The agreement also includes “profitability milestones” for workers that will kick in as the company becomes more successful.
“As someone starting a new family, it’s great to have the security and stability of a union contract,” said Vireo Cultivator Matt Denten. “I’m proud to be working in the medical cannabis industry and know that my work is helping patient live meaningful lives. My coworkers and I all agreed that we wanted to be represented by Local 338 to make sure that we were protected as workers and had good benefits and wages.”
“The strong union contract approved by the workers at Vireo will ensure that they have secure, middle class jobs so that they can provide for themselves and their families,” said RWDSU/UFCW Local 338 President John Durso. “This agreement provides these dedicated workers peace of mind that will allow them to focus on what matters most: helping those who are suffering and creating quality medicine.”