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May-29-2010 13:17printcomments

California Marijuana Workers Unionize in Oakland

Those involved in the movement say they seek to establish legitimacy in the workplace.

Ron Lind from UFCW Local 5
Ron Lind from UFCW Local 5

(OAKLAND, Ca.) - Approximately one hundred workers in Oakland, California's medical marijuana industry voted to join the labor union representing Retail, Statewide Agriculture, Food processing and community patient care employees in California who work with cannabis, or marijuana, are organizing to become unionized.

In the words of a famous musical artist and songwriter who is often associated with the 1960's, these times they are a changin'.

Rebecca Kaplan with the Oakland City Council, says, "This opportunity for the unionization of a new industry makes it possible for us to build good jobs with worker rights, with responsibility."

It's believed to be the first case of cannabis workers unionizing in the country, and likely a sign of much bigger things to come.

Those involved in the movement say they seek to establish their legitimacy in the workplace, and they believe it is strongly warranted.

Ron Line, President of UFCW Local 5 in California, said, "Clearly this is just the beginning, this about a hundred workers for Local 5, but we know there's great potential for meor workers in this industry, not only in Oakland, but throughout California and potentially throughout the United States."

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