Marijuana harvesters in Oakland, California have joined the Teamsters and negotiated a pay raise, pension, vacations and health insurance. It turns out handling bud all day is surprisingly taxing.
Growing marijuana outdoors is not hard – the nickname "weed" is well-earned... But the most labor-intensive part of the process comes at harvest time, when growers rely on small armies of trimmers to clip the plant's resin-rich buds. The work can be difficult and the hours long – and trimmers cannot count on federal labor regulations to protect them while doing work banned under federal law.
At least the budding unionization effort has workers making $26 an hour now, up from $18. And when the contract is renewed, maybe the Teamsters can negotiate free product to fill employees' "prescriptions" for weed. Weed workers, united, will never be.... wait, what were we saying?
[Photo via Milan Vasicek/Shutterstock]