Los Angeles Times: “Cannabis workers, once facing legal peril, get the California seal of approval”

In Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, Robin Abcarian reported on the leadership role of cannabis workers in professionalizing the cannabis industry through their union, the United Food and Commercial Workers’ (UFCW).

As California leaders come closer to solidifying a regulatory path for recreational cannabis under Prop. 64, the Times’ story underscores how a professional workforce with core union worker protections are crucial to a safe, competitive marketplace for consumers and good jobs for communities.

  • Training:  The UFCW’s apprenticeship program provides budtenders “training — on safety, packaging, patient verification and best business practices.”
  • Diversity: “apprenticeships will help level the playing field for the folks who have been penalized the most by the failed war on drugs. ‘This will be an opportunity for people of color to really thrive, because it’s the skills that will get you there, not your gender or color,’” UFCW’s Jeff Ferro told the times.
  • Good jobs: “I reached out to the union because I wanted to solidify my staff wages and benefits,” dispensary owner David Spradling said.  Spralding’s “employees start at $13 an hour and get bumped to $15 after 90 days. They receive health benefits, and will eventually participate in the UFCW’s pension plan as well.”

Read more:

*photo: Shayna Schonauer, 27, is California’s first-ever state-certified cannabis pharmacy technician. (Robin Abcarian / Los Angeles Times)

International Workers’ Day Actions

May 1st is International Workers’ Day also known as May Day.

May Day has traditionally served to celebrate the contributions of working people and raise the voices of immigrant communities. This year, it will also serve to further motivate, educate, and activate workers, and supporters. It will serve to fight regressive politics in our power institutions.

Let’s gear up to honor & celebrate May Day 2017: International Workers’ Day! Find an action near you:

Southern California

Los Angeles

The march will start at MacArthur Park, west of Downtown Los Angeles, at 11 a.m. and conclude in front of City Hall with a rally. For more information visit:

Orange County

Join the Orange County Labor Federation on International Worker’s Day for a march and rally. Stand UNITED with your union brothers and sisters as we continue to fight for equality, fairness, respect and dignity for all workers.

Event Schedule:
(Meet at St. Boniface Catholic Church – 120 N Janss St, Anaheim, CA 92805)
(Pearson Park)

For more information, call 714.385.1534

San Diego Workers and Community Resist!/Trabajadores y Communidad Resisten!

May 1 @ 3:00 pm

Union del Barrio, SEIU-USWW workers, and the Justice Can’t Coalition alongside several community organizations and labor unions are planning a large-scale rally and march that will start at the Federal Building in downtown San Diego and commence in Chicano Park.  Students, Immigrants, Workers, and Communities will unite in this day without ALL of US!

This is a call to all working people and communities/Este Un llamada para toda la gente trabajadora y todos las comunidades: Join in the streets/Unase a nosotros en las calles!

Date: May 1

Time: 3:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Federal Building
880 Front St.
San Diego, CA 92101

Northern California

May Day San Francisco

Monday, MAY 1, 2017

Join the Rally @ Justin Herman Plaza @ 11 AM then March on Market St. to Civic Center Plaza.


Oakland: International Workers’ Day General Strike and March

March begins at 3 pm at Fruitvale Plaza, Ends at San Antonio Park

Fruitvale Plaza Address:

3526 San Leandro St

Oakland, CA 94601

San Jose: South Bay May Day

Join thousands of workers across the country and the world as we take to the streets to SHUT IT DOWN! No Work! No School! No Shopping!

San Jose will march from the Mexican Heritage Plaza/School of Arts and Culture to the Arena Gardens (Santa Clara St./ Autumn St.) along Alum Rock Ave./Santa Clara St.

Program begins at 1:00
Marching at 3:00

Sacramento: May Day International Workers’ Day March

Join workers and activists on May 1st to march for International Workers’ Day! The march will begin at 10 am at South Side Park and end with a rally at the West Steps of the Capitol. Email for more information.

Salinas May Day March

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Cesar Chavez Park
250 N. Madeira Ave
Salinas, CA 93905

Let’s Top 2016 World Record Record for ‘Stamp Out Hunger’ Food Drive

We know better than anyone how hard UFCW members work to put food on the table for America’s families – and our union family also believes that no hardworking man or woman should struggle alone. Which is why we work hard for those in need, supporting our brothers and sisters at the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) in their “Stamp Out Hunger” food drive.

This year is the 25th anniversary of the food drive, and we want to make this a year for the history books. We hope to top last year’s Guinness World Record—80 million pounds of food collected for the largest single day food drive in world history. Together, we know we can do it, one bag at a time.

Here’s how:

  1. FILL A BAG with non-perishable food items. (See list below.)
  2. TAKE A PIC AND POST IT! Please Tweet it or put it on Facebook with the hashtag #StampOutHunger – and please tag @UFCW and @NALC.
  3. PUT OUT YOUR BAG on May 13th before your letter carrier’s normal pick-up time. 

That’s it! It’s so easy – please help us Stamp Out Hunger and put food on shelves in our local food banks.

What to Put in Your Bag 

Fill your paper bag with*:

  • Cereal
  • Pasta
  • Pasta or spaghetti sauce
  • Rice
  • Canned fruits and veggies
  • Canned meals (soup, chili, pasta)
  • 100% juice
  • Peanut butter
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Canned protein (chicken, tuna, turkey)
  • Beans
  • Oatmeal

*NOTE: DO NOT put in frozen food, homemade food, expired food, or home canned items – or anything in glass containers.


UFCW Celebrates Women’s History Month

The month of March marks Women’s History Month and provides us with an opportunity to honor women in the labor movement. Women’s History Month also provides us with an opportunity to examine how labor unions have benefited women and the social and economic issues that affect women in the workplace, including the need for affordable, high-quality child care and paid maternity and sick leave.

Throughout this month, the UFCW will pay tribute to women who defied convention and fought for workers’ rights and highlight women who continue to fight for the right to stick together for decent wages and benefits and respect in the workplace.


UFCW Celebrates Women’s History Month

The month of March marks Women’s History Month and provides us with an opportunity to honor the many women who have who have fought for social and economic justice in the workplace.

From Mary Harris “Mother” Jones, the “grandmother of all agitators,” to Frances Perkins, the first woman to serve in the U.S. Cabinet as Secretary of Labor, to Dolores Huerta, co-founder of  the National Farm Workers Association, to Addie Wyatt, the first African-American woman elected international vice president of a major labor union, to the brave women of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart), women in the labor movement have defied convention and taken the lead in fighting for workers’ rights.

Throughout out the month of March, the UFCW will the highlight the lives of these remarkable women who fought for fair wages, dignity in the workplace and the freedom to organize in spite of considerable barriers, and honor their significant contributions to the labor movement.

Immigrant Worker Rights and Defense Trainings

In our workplaces and communities, immigrant workers and members of our unions face the daily uncertainty of raids and deportations under the Trump agenda.

Join us to fight the attacks on Immigrant workers.

The training will include:

  • Know your rights: In the community and at your worksite – laws, contract language, do’s and don’ts
  • Be Prepared: Rights and what to do if faced with deportations and worksite raids
  • Organize: Building Labor/Community Coalitions including elected leaders
  • Rapid Response: Building a movement to defend all workers and their families.

UPCOMING TRAININGS: Registration opens 9am, Training 10am-3:30pm

Please RSVP to those listed below and to get individual flyers for each training. Union members and stewards welcome.

Southern California: Contact Hector Saldivar,

– Orange County: Wednesday, March 8th, UFCW 324, 8530 Stanton Ave., Buena Park

– San Diego: Saturday, March 25th, San Diego Education Association, 10393 San Diego Mission Road, #100, San Diego

– Los Angeles: Tuesday, March 28th, United Teachers of Los Angeles (UTLA) Auditorium), 3303 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles


Northern California: Contact Tara Carey,

– North Bay, Napa/Solano Counties: Friday, March 10th, Homeward Bound of Marin, (The Key Room),

1385 N Hamilton Parkway, Novato

– San Jose/South Bay: Saturday, March 25th, 2102 Almaden Road – Hall A, San Jose

– East Bay/San Francisco: Saturday, April 8th, Location TBD

– Sacramento: Friday, March 24th, 2840 El Centro Rd., Sacramento


Central Valley: Contact Pedro Ramirez,

– Fresno: Saturday, April 8th, Teamsters Local 431, 1140 W Olive Ave., Fresno























UFCW International Scholarship Program

Every year the UFCW SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM offers scholarships to UFCW members or their immediate family members who want to further their education and demonstrate a commitment to their communities and to UFCW values.  Since 1958, the fund has distributed more than $2 million in scholarships.*

Past winners have gone on to make significant contributions to society and to the UFCW – entering a range of fields including public service, medicine, law, business and teaching.  Many have returned to the UFCW as staffers, organizers, and community activists who contribute to our mission.


The UFCW is about workers coming together to build better lives for themselves. It is about creating opportunity. That is why each year the UFCW Charity Foundation awards several scholarships of up to $8 ,000 each to UFCW members or their unmarried dependents under the age of 20. UFCW employed officers, staff and their immediate families are not eligible.

*UFCW-employed officers and staff, and their immediate families are not eligible for this program.

To apply online: Scholarship Application

UFCW Statement on Andrew Puzder

Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union, made the following statement about Andrew Puzder withdrawing his nomination for labor secretary.

“Given recent reports that have come to light, it is clear that Mr. Puzder’s values were not the values of hard-working families. His withdrawal proves that the American people still have a voice and the power to shape our government.

“Now, the question is who comes next?

“Whomever the nominee for labor secretary is, they must respect the rights of all hard-working men and women. They must realize that their job is not to protect the interests of irresponsible corporations, but to protect the rights of all workers, including our members, who deserve and have earned a better life.”

Know Your Rights

In the United States, every person—whether documented or undocumented—has the constitutional right to remain silent and to refuse to answer questions of the police, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), or the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), whether on the street, in a car, or at home.

Under the law, the ICE must have proof you are not from the United States to deport you. They can use the following information against you:

• If you run and the ICE catches you.

• If you tell the ICE where you were born or that you don’t have papers.

• If you carry false documents.

• If you carry papers from your country. If you are questioned by the ICE, you are NOT required to reveal any information, such as your name, address, or home country. If you are questioned or detained, however, it usually is a good idea to give your name so that friends, family, or your attorney can locate you.

Below are links to resources that will help you understand your rights in the United States.

know your rights card pdf (1)

Casa Maryland raid info (2)

This Valentine’s Day Shop Union (UFCW)

Need a last minute gift for your loved ones this Valentine’s Day? To support your union family, pick up any of the tasty treats that union members make, and shop at union label retail and grocery stores. Below are just a few of the things made by UFCW and other union members that might help you celebrate that special someone!

Support UFCW members by stopping by and picking up some flowers from our Union Shops.
Support UFCW members by stopping by and picking up some flowers from our Union Shops.

Ghirardelli Chocolate
Hershey’s Hugs and Kisses
Russell Stover
See’s Candies

Eden Roc
J. Roget
Jacques Bonet
Jacques Reynard
Le Domaine
Smell Good

Hess Collection

Hugo Boss
Old Spice
Pierre Cardin








Nob Hill/Raley’s

Stater Brothers



UFCW Local 324 member
UFCW Member from Local 135