The Union Bargaining Committee members working for Minnesota’s largest cannabis employer Vireo (Formerly Minnesota Medical Solutions, now operating as Green Goods) unanimously recommended rejecting the last, best and final offer from their employer. The Union has maintained that the employer’s wage proposal is unjust. Workers who were hired with the expectation that there were annual wage progressions are seeing those taken from them. Workers are being frozen at their current levels; progressions and step increases are eliminated. The Employer proposal lowers new hire rates, barely above living wage, while offering those at the top greater increases. The Union’s proposal for fair just wage progressions fell on deaf ears, with so much “Minnesota nice” talk about caring for the Team and concern about the relationship with the Union.
What does the loss of progression steps in a contract do? It creates injustice. It keeps one group behind – always.
What do these new lower hiring scales do? They keep new people even further behind. Including those folks currently underrepresented in the industry.
The employer’s proposal will NEVER allow for equal pay for equal work – no one can “catch-up” with this proposal.
We don’t easily forget that the employer’s attorney told the committee that they were having trouble stomaching giving the workers raises – not once but twice. And while management stated that it wasn’t their view, no one apologized and clearly, based on the removal of the wage step, they weren’t really sorry.
And it isn’t just the devastating loss of wage progression that Vireo wants the members to suck-down, it is the arbitrary removal of chairs from the worksite – from a healthcare site, without regard to the workers who may have disabilities. It is the refusal to negotiate language to ensure healthy ergonomic workplaces. While many people stand without issue, many in the medical cannabis industry are drawn to the work because they too have chronic pain or limb injuries. Vireo management only willing to talk about talking about it later, but not willing to put those solutions in writing.
The Union will be filing several unfair labor practice charges for the employer’s failure to bargain over proposals it sprung on the Union in the last day – where it made a last best and final offer and demanded we vote it without giving the Union the opportunity to respond. That is not legal.
We will be filing charges for their direct dealing and failure to provide requested information.
Adding to the further assault on the workers, the employer’s unilateral changing of a policy (how it is implemented) resulted in an unjust firing.
Does the committee recommend this offer? HELL NO.
Employer's Last Best and Final Offer - (Union Recommends Voting "HELL NO" To Reject)
Read the employer's "Spin" on their offer to remove wage progressions and disguise it as an increase without even noting that this is actually a roll-back for the vast majority of workers over previous contract rates. Memo to employees VIREO SPIN.pdf
Vireo has stated "It projects an operating profit before interest, taxes and depreciation next year of up to $55 million on revenue that could more than double to $180 million." https://www.startribune.com/st-anthony-doctor-and-friends-built-minnesotas-most-valuable-cannabis-company/600067508/