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  • Latest from the blog

    Oct 22, 2021

    STATEMENT ON NYC COUNCIL PASSAGE OF INT. 1145

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 22, 2020  Contact: Chelsea Connor | [email protected] | 347-866-6259   STATEMENT ON NYC COUNCIL PASSAGE OF INT. 1145 New Law Could Lead to Price Gouging of New York’s Most Vulnerable and Essential Worker Wage Cuts (NEW YORK, NY) –  Yesterday, the New York City Council passed Int. 1145. Disguised as a consumer protection and small business bill, Int. 1145 eliminates item pricing. But in practice, it eliminates the transparency established by the Truth in Pricing law, harming New York’s most vulnerable consumers and slashing essential workers' wages.  The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), RWDSU Local 338 and the NYC Central Labor Council, issued the following joint statement on Int. 1145:  “We are disappointed that the New York City Council passed Int. 1145 and we oppose the implementation of it. “Heavily cloaked in rhetoric, this bill is a hand-out to large retailers who are looking to find cost savings at the expense of their workforce. Without clear pricing labels on items, seniors and New Yorkers who are sight, hearing or otherwise impaired will be vulnerable to price gouging and deceptive practices at stores across the City. Workers in supermarkets and other retail stores could see a reduction in hours and therefore, wages as a result of the implementation of this legislation. New Yorkers spent the past year heralding these same front-line workers as ‘heroes’; and implementing this bill could slash these same workers’ pay. “If the New York City Council really wants to support brick and mortar small businesses we need to find solutions that strengthen them without negatively impacting the general public or their workers. “Implementation of this law will harm New York’s most vulnerable consumers and workers at a time when the City needs our economy to rebound swiftly. This is not a way to help us do that.” Currently, shoppers are clearly able to see what an item in-hand costs. They are able to discern what a specific item size or variety costs and can compare before it ever goes in their cart. Consumers can also easily cross reference the cost of an item as it is scanned at checkout against the price listed on the item for accuracy. Int. 1145 shifts the burden and labor from the retailer on to the consumer who must now locate a scanner within the store and, assuming it works, scan their own items to determine pricing before checkout. Without item prices shoppers can easily be duped into paying more and workers' hours could be cut, decreasing their wages.  # # # The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) represents 100,000 members throughout the United States. The RWDSU is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). For more information, please visit our website at www.rwdsu.org, Facebook:/RWDSU.UFCW Twitter:@RWDSU.
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    Oct 22, 2021

    RWDSU CANNABIS WORKERS AT PHARMACANN RATIFY NEW CONTRACT

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 22, 2021 RWDSU Contact: Chelsea Connor, [email protected], 347-866-6259 Local 338 RWDSU Contact: Nikki Kateman, [email protected], 347-668-2860   UNION CANNABIS WORKERS AT PHARMACANN RATIFY NEW CONTRACT Workers at New York Cultivation & Processing Facility Win Significant Wage Increases and Benefits (Hamptonburgh, NY) – Late yesterday, Local 338 Retail, Wholesale, Department Store Union (RWDSU)/United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), announced that workers at PharmaCann, which operates as Verilife in New York, have ratified a new three-year union contract. The bargaining unit covers approximately sixty workers who work at the company’s cultivation and processing facility in Orange County. “I’ve worked for PharmaCann for over three years. Joining Local 338 has been beneficial for myself, as well as my coworkers.  There’s awesome perks and benefits such as ratification bonuses, zero cost to members healthcare and annual raises. While the cannabis industry is rapidly growing in New York, our union has kept us growing in the company and personally,” said Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW member Alycesyn Siler, who is a production tech at PharmaCann. “I am very proud of our new contract. We have competitive starting rates, raises for established employees, bonuses, and a more flexible PTO system with more days. The addition of the 401k match gives us a great tool to help us invest for retirement,” said Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW member Kevin Gilmartin, who has worked at PharmaCann for two years as a cultivation tech. “Our members are dedicated to ensuring that New York’s medical cannabis patients are able to access safe and quality products. They work hard for PharmaCann and proved that to the company at the negotiating table. With strong starting salaries for new hires, wage increases for current workers, and improved benefits for workers and their families, this contract continues to set a standard for not just careers at PharmaCann, but also what we should be creating in New York’s emerging cannabis industry.” said Joseph Fontano, Secretary-Treasurer of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW. The PharmaCann contract was ratified by the members of Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW after months of negotiations. The contract will be in effect for three years and includes critical wage and benefits enhancements, including: Annual wage increases and milestone bonuses over the term of the contract. The hourly rate of pay for members will increase an $1.25 per hour in the first year and 3.75% in the second and third year of the agreement.   The union secured language in the contract that significantly increases the minimum starting rate for all new hires. Workers will receive additional paid time off and two new paid holidays. The company will provide workers with an increase to their annuity benefit, as well as a new 401K matching program to ensure access to retirement security.  Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW represents approximately 500 workers at seven medical cannabis companies in New York State who are employed across the industry’s supply chain. The union will be entering into contract negotiations with PharmaCann on behalf of the workers at the company’s four dispensaries next month. PharmaCann is a multi-state cannabis company currently licensed to operate in seven states. # # # The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) represents 100,000 members throughout the United States. The RWDSU is affiliated with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW). Local 338 RWDSU/UFCW proudly represents approximately 13,000 working men and women employed in a variety of different industries across New York State including, food retail, pharmaceutical retail, health care and human services, transportation, and medical cannabis. For more information, please visit our websites at https://link.edgepilot.com/s/ae66ce73/4TMWLj1n3US9abSwHQk94w?u=http://www.rwdsu.org/ or https://link.edgepilot.com/s/7c016a12/kNfnSwfTqECCyoqV7aOJyA?u=http://www.local338.org/ Facebook:/RWDSU.UFCW or /Local338 Twitter:@RWDSU or @Local338
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