By Steve Elliott
More than 20 workers at the South Coast Safe Access medicinal cannabis dispensary on Thursday celebrated joining the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 324.
Workers at South Coast Safe Access and their union representatives also worked productively with dispensary management to quickly come to an agreement for a historic first contract, according to Derek Worden, president of the dispensary. The comprehensive contract agreed to includes fair wages, health insurance, a retirement pension, grievance procedure, and other protections and benefits for workers.
Officials from Orange County's labor community had been in talks with the dispensary for some time. Formal recognition of the union by the facility avoids the need for a contentious fight over representation. That ultimately paved the way for a comprehensive contract that included fair wages, health insurance, a retirement pension, grievance procedure and other protections and benefits for workers, according to Worden.
“We pride ourselves in being a great employer, a valuable community partner, and a safe access provider for thousands of patients,” Worden said. “We are pleased that our staff have decided to unite and collectively work together to ensure fair wages, good benefits, and the safest working conditions so that our patients can continue to have reliable access to the highest quality, environmentally-friendly, and affordable medicinal cannabis in the region.