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Pueblo West pot business workers unionize
Source D. Ohmans
Date 16/04/21/11:08
Pueblo West pot business workers unionize
Retail workers at a Pueblo West cannabis company have formed a union and are
seeking recognition from their employer in a process overseen by the National
Labor Relations Board.

Workers at Pueblo West Organics have partnered with United Food and Commercial
Workers Local 7 in creating the union, which they say is the first in Colorado's
budding cannabis industry.

An election for employees at the facility to officially recognize the union is
scheduled to be held Tuesday.

Evan Yeats, campaign communications coordinator with United Food and Commercial
Workers International Union, said a union forms as soon as workers decide to
show interest in forming a union.

Yeats said workers then go to their employer, asking the employer to recognize
their union. The employer in this case has chosen not to recognize the union,
Yeats said.

"The workers can now go to the National Labor Relations Board and say they are
going to file for an election and prove that a majority of workers want the
union and then the employers would be federally mandated to work with the
workers," Yeats said.

There are ten employees at the Pueblo West facility.

The owner of Pueblo West Organics did not return a phone call from The Pueblo

Barbara Emmons, a budtender at Pueblo West Organics, said workers want to unite
to stand up together.

"We wanted to get our voice out there," Emmons said.

Emmons, who has been employed with the company for more than a year, said
workers are an integral part of ensuring that the cannabis industry grows and
succeeds in a responsible way.

"We are ultimately looking for success for our business, our customers and for
us and our families," she said.

"It's 4/20, a marijuana holiday. Everybody is excited to share. It's the perfect
day for us to share this information. It impacts everybody."

Yeats said the union represents more than 20,000 workers across Colorado and
Wyoming in the retail and health care industry who face similar challenges and
opportunities for cannabis workers.

In addition, the UFCW, through its Cannabis Workers Rising Project, represents
cannabis workers in all states of both medical and recreational marijuana
operations across the country.

"The Colorado cannabis industry has the opportunity to not just be a boon to our
tax base, but to all parts of our communities," said UFCW Local 7 President Kim
Cordova in a statement.

"It's about not just creating jobs, but good jobs, where workers can support
families and have the security of a union voice."

Union officials said workers at Pueblo West Organics have been forced to file an
unfair labor practice charge against Pueblo West Organics management with the
NLRB to protect their rights.

"However, the election should still proceed as planned and both the workers and
the union are hopeful that it will continue without further incident," officials

Emmons said the group wants to have a good relationship with its employers.

"This isn't about a war or a fight or anything. It's about the success of all of
us. We want to win the union, yes. But ultimately it's about winning for
everybody," Emmons said.

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