Vireo/Green Goods Summary July 20th 2021 - Negotiations Update

The Union Negotiating Committee met again with the Employer on July 20th, 2021. This was our first meeting since the members voted down their last, best, and final offer on June 24th. This time, the Union Committee was joined by Jeff Ferro, head of the UFCW International Cannabis Division, and TJ Lauritsen, UFCW International retiree and Cannabis consultant.

While the early part of the day played out much the same as our meetings have since negotiations began in March, with the employer seeming unprepared to listen to workers’ concerns and painting statements made by the Union negotiators as “spin,” there was marked improvement later in the day. After the Employer’s attorney left the meeting, Negotiating Committee members for the first time felt the issues of worker safety, ergonomics, and fair wages were discussed calmly with solutions in mind. Space was created for explaining the root of the issues at hand, the real and pressing concerns of the workers were taken seriously, and some progress seems to have been made. While nothing has been settled as of this day, the Committee is cautiously optimistic that the Employer is finally talking to us, not talking past us.

Of course, nothing is settled until there is a contract to vote and the ink is dry on the signature line, and UFCW 1189 is fully prepared for any eventuality as we approach the sixth month of bargaining. Stay tuned for more!