Union to appeal after workers at MA marijuana store reject unionization

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Cannabis workers at New England Treatment Access (NETA), a medical and recreational retailer in Brookline, Massachusetts, voted to reject unionizing the company.

The union said it will appeal, charging the company with coercive anti-bargaining tactics.

NETA said workers at its Brookline dispensary voted 30-9 against unionizing, according to MassLive.com, only weeks after the majority of its cultivation workers in Franklin had signed cards to join a union.

The vote marks the first rejection of unionization in Massachusetts since the coronavirus crisis began.

Cannabis unionization efforts in the Northeast and Midwest have been on the rise, sparked by worker safety concerns as well as issues over pay, benefits and scheduling.

According to MassLive.com, the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445 is charging that employees at NETA’s Brookline facility were threatened and even fired over collective-bargaining efforts.

NETA denied the allegations.

“We support everyone’s right to join or not join a union, but because NETA already offers progressive wages and benefits, as well as a collaborative work environment, we don’t think a union is needed,” NETA said in a statement to MassLive.com.

Sira Naturals, in November 2019, was the first dispensary in Massachusetts to unionize.

Earlier this month, employees at the Mayflower Medicinals processing facility in Holliston voted to join the union.

Workers also reportedly voted to unionize at a Curaleaf medical marijuana dispensary in Hanover.

Additional unionization efforts in Massachusetts are ongoing.