Topics: Cannabis, News, Press

UFCW Workers Applaud Budget That Invests in Workers

Sacramento, CA – The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Western States Council today released the following statement from Amber Baur, executive director, UFCW Western States Council, in response to the agreed upon California budget for 2022-2023:

 “The 180,000 UFCW members in California applaud Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature’s 2022-2023 budget that invests in the essential workers who power California’s economy and their families.

“The past few years have been incredibly difficult for frontline workers, demanding tremendous sacrifice by working people and their families. The Trump Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 suspended the federal tax deduction for union dues, putting working people at even more of a disadvantage. The budget approved today by Governor Newsom and the Legislature establishes a refundable tax credit for union dues, allowing workers to level the playing field that tries to keep them at the bottom. We’re glad our elected leaders saw the numerous benefits unions provide workers, like expanded access to healthcare and retirement, a narrowing of race and gender wage disparities and racial wealth gaps, and a path out of poverty through job security, and provided the funding for this important tax credit.

“The agreed upon budget also includes significant funding for pathways to quality jobs for essential workers. Lifting up low-wage workers like UFCW’s members in critical public-facing roles, most of whom are women and people of color, through workforce development dollars is an urgent need for our economy and will help move families into the middle class and begin to undo decades of systemic inequality. 

“The budget also supports the critical work of the University of California Labor Center, doubles the funding to increase retaliation complaint investigation staffing, continues California’s COVID-19 Workplace Outreach Project, and establishes an unpaid wages hardship fund. Funding these key worker protection and information projects will help keep workers safe on the job for years to come.

 “California’s licensed cannabis employers have been unable to maintain high worker wages, benefits, and career growth opportunities because of the high cost of taxes. We applaud the funding of $40 million in tax credit relief for social equity programs and high road cannabis retail operators that provide living wages and benefits, which will bring real relief for retailers and inspire consumers to purchase from legalized shops, not illicit businesses. 

 “We are glad Governor Gavin Newsom and the California Legislature have committed to ensuring working people can fight growing costs of living in California and thrive. We will continue working with the Governor and the Administration to ensure California’s budget gives our members what they need throughout the rest of the budget process this summer.”

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June 30, 2022

Contact: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, [email protected]