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Teamsters plan to strike at three Rise cannabis stores on the eve of 4/20 pot festivities.

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The Teamsters plan to strike at three marijuana retail shops in the Chicago region on the eve of April 20, or 4/20, an informal holiday for cannabis consumers. Local 777 announced Tuesday that more than 100 workers intend to go on open-ended strike at 4:20 p.m. Wednesday at three Rise dispensaries, one in Niles and two in Joliet. The strike is to protest what union spokesman Matthew McQuaid said was an unfair labor practice, when management told workers to take off Teamsters buttons during bargaining. “We are far apart on wages and retirement,” McQuaid said. The Teamsters represent workers at at least 17 dispensaries operated by various companies in Illinois. Workers at the Rise dispensaries, primarily inventory workers and budtenders, voted to unionize last year and have been negotiating for their first contract. Rise dispensaries operates 10 stores in Illinois. Its parent company, Green Thumb Industries Inc., is a national cannabis company based in Chicago, with 18 manufacturing sites and 77 retail shops in at least 14 states, and 3,800 employees. It reported $259 million in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2022, a 6% increase year-over-year. GTI issued the following statement: “Green Thumb respects the rights of our employees, including the fundamental right to organize and take protected concerted activity during negotiations. We made a fair offer to the union and will continue to work toward labor peace. During this time, we have made accommodations to continue our store operations to ensure our patients and customers can access the products they rely on for their well-being.”



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