UFCW Local 400 has reached an agreement with Bethesda Biomedical to represent medical marijuana workers in Maryland once the state approves the company’s license to operate. “By signing this agreement, Bethesda Biomedical has shown that they are dedicated to developing this industry in a way that provides good middle-class jobs with living wages and proper benefits for a well-trained and qualified workforce,” said Local 400 President Mark Federici. The agreement guarantees high wages, healthcare, a retirement pension and other benefits to future employees of Bethesda Biomedical. The contract covers pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, cultivators and laboratory technicians on both the manufacturing and retail sides of the business. “I believe that business and labor can be productive together and create an even more viable industry,” said Bethesda Biomedical president Brian Caldwell. Both parties anticipate the company’s license will be approved by the state of Maryland before the end of the year and operations could begin as early as January 2016. Meanwhile, Bethesda Biomedical is currently investigating potential manufacturing sites in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties and a retail space in Takoma Park. UFCW already represents thousands of workers in the medical marijuana industry across the country.
The Maryland State and DC AFL-CIO election endorsement schedule for the 2016 primary election in Congressional districts 4, 5, 8 and DC has just been published on the Metro Council’s Political Action page. Candidate questionnaires are due back on October 7, interviews will take place on the 15th, recommendations will be made to the Metro Council Executive Board and delegates on the 19th and the Council’s recommendations will be submitted to the Maryland State and DC AFL-CIO on October 22. The 2016 primary voter registration deadlines are also posted.
Tomorrow, the White House is holding a summit with leaders in the various movements to improve the lives of working people across the country, with a focus on how to make sure that economic growth is broad-based and that workers share in the benefits they help create with their labor. In recent days, the AFL-CIO Now blog has been highlighting the stories of workers and their struggle to make sure their voices are heard on the job. Workers like Allysha Almada (right), an RN in Pasadena, CA who was fired after organizing workers at Huntington Memorial hospital. Or Lydia Flores, a cashier at union El Super market in Arleta, CA who’s joined with co-workers to fight for a new contract for more than two years in the face of a campaign by the company to undermine the workers' desires for fair working conditions and a voice on the job.
Tomorrow: Dolly Winter and Gawker