“Workers at the Eugene sci-fi themed cannabis dispensary SpaceBuds have a goal: to boldly go where few dispensaries have gone before — by forming a union.
After voting 5-4 on April 4 to join the established United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 union, workers at SpaceBuds: The Dispensary now await the bargaining process with owners. A worker who’s a part of the unionizing efforts, Dakota Licea, says employees want to secure a living wage, a set schedule and other benefits he says the workplace is lacking — and to set an example for other dispensaries in town.
Since workers won their union vote, Licea says some legal protections have been implemented, including paid breaks. “We’re starting to have our voice and feel heard and feel secure in our job,” he says. And although Oregon is an at-will state, meaning workers can be fired on the spot, most SpaceBuds workers feel a sense of protection from the union.
Workers at SpaceBuds are not the only ones at an Oregon dispensary seeking unionization. On Jan.13, workers at Eugene’s Flower of Lyfe won its union election, but the NLRB closed the application months later, citing issues with its initial petition. And on May 2 workers at the Gresham dispensary CBN Holdings walked out to protest the employer’s not recognizing the union.
Although workers voted to unionize, the next steps include contract bargaining with the owners of SpaceBuds, but the owners have not met with the bargaining team, Licea says.”