Cresco Lab cannabis growers in Illinois plan to join union

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Employees at an Illinois marijuana cultivation facility owned by Chicago-based multistate operator Cresco Labs are the first cannabis workers in the state to unionize.

Laborers at Cresco’s facility in Joliet voted 58-32 to be represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 881.

The vote affects about 100 of the 130 workers at the facility.

Cultivation workers who tend to cannabis plants were not eligible to vote because farm workers are covered by federal labor laws, according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Zach Koutsky, legislative and political director for Local 881, called the vote at one of the largest cultivation facilities in Illinois a “precedent-setting victory.”

The vote at Cresco’s grow facility follows a previous unsuccessful unionization effort in Illinois.

In December, the Teamsters lost a close vote to unionize production workers at a cultivation facility that is run by Chicago-based Green Thumb Industries, according to Crain’s.

The failed vote came after Green Thumb refused to recognize a unionization effort in October, saying the Teamsters had not allowed the workers to have a say.