Teamsters Local 777 members at Verilife dispensaries in Illinois, owned by PharmaCann, ratified their first collective bargaining agreements in early May, which provide workers a 20% wage increase, additional full-time positions, guaranteed gratuities and employer-funded retirement contributions. 

"This is a perfect example of what can happen when an employer works with us, instead of against us," said Peter Finn, Teamsters western region international VP and food processing division director.  Over 100 workers will be covered by these agreements once ratified. 

They got a good deal, thanks to guidance from the Teamsters. However, negotiations don't always proceed so smoothly.

At times even displaying pro-union buttons can become a contentious issue. In mid-April, Green Thumb Industries Inc. (OTCQX: GTBIF), the parent company of the Rise dispensary in Niles, demanded that workers remove their pro-union buttons while on the job, which violated the National Labor Relations Act. In response, Teamsters Local 777 initiated an open-ended unfair labor practice strike that lasted for 13 days. The company raised wages for strikebreakers but not for workers who refused to cross the picket line. 

The union demanded that the wage increase be extended to all workers and also requested increased paid time off, according to Teamsters spokesperson, Matt McQuaid.  “GTI denied offering a …

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