Workers at California Medical Marijuana Company Join Teamsters

Sep 03, 2010, 15:16 ET from Teamsters Local 70

Teamsters Vote Overwhelmingly to Ratify Strong New Contract

OAKLAND, Calif., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Workers at a California medical marijuana company have voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first-ever contract. The 38 workers are now represented by Teamsters Local 70. Medical marijuana is legal in California.

The workers are employed by Marjyn Investments LLC in Oakland, a management company retained by multiple lawful cooperatives organized under California laws for the purpose of providing patient access to medical marijuana.

The workers are trimmers, gardeners and cloners. Cloners clone different strains of marijuana, depending on its medical needs, said Lou Marchetti, the business agent for Local 70, which organized the workers and negotiated the contract. Marjyn Investments provides medical marijuana used by patients suffering from cancer, HIV and other life threatening illnesses.

Rome Aloise, President of Joint Council 7 and Western Region Vice President, praised the work of Local 70.

"The Local was approached by these workers to organize and Local 70 accomplished this goal very quickly," Aloise said. "The Teamsters will provide these workers with the best representation possible."

Marty Frates, Local 70 Secretary-Treasurer, credited Marchetti for obtaining a recognition agreement with the full cooperation and support of the company, enabling the workers to obtain a contract very quickly.

"These workers are highly educated and dedicated to helping people with very serious illnesses," Frates said. "Lou was able to negotiate for them a very good first contract."

Under the two-year contract, the company will pay for the workers' health care costs. The workers will receive pensions under the Western Conference of Pensions Fund, and their wages, currently at $18 an hour, will increase to $25.75 an hour within 15 months. They also get 10 paid holidays and 60 hours of personal time per year.

"The company expects to expand and hopes to have about 150 employees," Marchetti said. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever organize medical marijuana providers, but this is an expanding industry in California."

"We look forward to a long and beneficial relationship with the Teamster workers, providing well-paid jobs with benefits and a safe work environment," said R. Dean Jackson, a Marjyn representative.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

SOURCE Teamsters Local 70