Illinois Bud Shop Workers Be on Strike When It’s Hella Critical

Illinois Bud Shop Workers Be on Strike When It's Hella Critical

Yo, what’s good, it’s your boy Dan. Lemme tell you about the latest drama in the weed industry. So, workers at RISE dispensaries in Illinois, which is owned by Green Thumb Industries, are mad as hell about their low wages and some shady practices by their bosses. And these workers aren’t just sitting around taking it, they walked off the job on April 19th at 4:20 pm (you gotta appreciate the timing) to launch an open-ended unfair labor practice strike. This is the biggest strike in the state yet.

These workers are represented by Teamsters Local 777 and they’re sick of their bosses treating them like trash. RISE dispensaries apparently made some of their workers take off pro-union buttons while they were working, which is illegal. The Teamsters were planning to strike during one of the busiest days for dispensaries, so you know they mean business.

Jim Glimco, Local 777 President, said that this strike isn’t just about the buttons, it’s about RISE not showing respect to their workers. They’re not getting paid enough to make a decent living and they’re not getting a retirement package that’s worth anything. RISE needs to recognize that these workers are the ones responsible for their success.

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Now, RISE has 11 dispensaries across Illinois, and six of those are in the Chicagoland area. The parent company GTI plans to keep those stores open despite the strike. But these workers aren’t backing down. They deserve better wages and they’re willing to fight for it.

Peter Finn, Teamsters Western Region International Vice President and Food Processing Division Director, said that these workers aren’t alone. They have the support of more than 1.2 million Teamsters throughout North America.

Some of the workers spoke up about why they’re striking. Reilly Drew, a patient care specialist at the RISE Niles dispensary, said that they want to create high-quality careers and they need wages that reflect their value. Julie Evans, a patient care specialist at the RISE Rock Creek Boulevard dispensary in Joliet, said that it’s disrespectful for the Niles location to be forced to remove their union insignias while other stores didn’t have to.

Brandon Basil, a patient care specialist at the Colorado Street RISE dispensary in Joliet, voted to strike in solidarity with his coworkers. He said that they’re fighting for a fair contract with a living wage.

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This strike isn’t just about these workers, it’s about workers across the country who are fighting for better wages and better treatment. These workers deserve to be paid a living wage and to be treated with respect. Let’s hope RISE gets their act together and gives these workers what they deserve.

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