Ascend Dispensary workers in Springfield vote to unionize, become 4th group to join – Chicago Sun-Times
Employees at Ascend Dispensary in downtown Springfield voted to unionize Tuesday, becoming the fourth group to join the union for cannabis workers in Illinois since the state legalized pot in 2020.
The mail-in ballots — counted over Zoom on the unofficial smoker’s holiday of 4/20 — were overwhelmingly in favor of joining Local 881 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents employees in Illinois’ booming pot industry, the union said in a statement.
“I hope that this win can be a positive step forward for everybody. This victory will provide workers a voice in the workplace and a future in this industry,” said Eric Craddock, an Ascend dispensary agent.
The vote, which is expected to be ratified next week, will help workers fight for “better wages, benefits, increased Covid-19 protections, and a voice in their workplace,” the union said.
Ascend Wellness Holdings owns six dispensaries in Illinois, making it the sixth-largest retailer in the state, according to their website.
“Illinois cannabis sales topped $1 billion in 2020. These companies can afford to respect their workers! Respect and decency are not expensive business practices. This industry should be creating stable careers, not operating cannabis sweatshops,” said