UFCW California Cannabis Workers Reach Tentative Agreement with Eaze, Averting Strike Ahead of 4/20

UFCW Local 324

April 17, 2024
Contact: Jenna Thompson, 949.246.1620, jthompson@ufcw324.org 

UFCW California Cannabis Workers Reach Tentative Agreement with Eaze, Averting Strike Ahead of 4/20

After Nine Months of Negotiations, UFCW-Represented Eaze Workers Reach Tentative Agreement on a Three-Year First Contract

California, April 17, 2024– In a landmark achievement for labor rights in the cannabis industry, UFCW cannabis delivery drivers and depot staff at 11 Eaze cannabis locations across California have reached a tentative agreement with cannabis-delivery company Eaze, averting a strike ahead of the 4/20 holiday. This tentative agreement, reached by a bargaining committee made up of Eaze employees represented by UFCW locals 5, 135, 324, and 770, comes after nine months of intense negotiations and preparations for an unprecedented state-wide strike.

The bargaining committee unanimously recommended that their coworkers ratify the agreement, which guarantees better pay, a fair process for reimbursement of the costs of operating their vehicles, hours of work, and a multitude of enforceable rights and protections on the job. Workers are expected to vote on ratification later this week.

The tentative agreement represents a significant win for workers, who have fought relentlessly since August 2023 to secure a fair and equitable agreement.

“We are thrilled to have achieved such meaningful victories through our collective strength and solidarity,” said Ron Swallow, a delivery driver out of Eaze Van Nuys, and part of the UFCW Local 770 negotiating committee. “This contract will not only improve the lives of Eaze employees but sets a powerful precedent for labor rights within the cannabis industry as a whole.”

“As a member of the bargaining committee we bargained hard for this contract, and we feel good about the progress made from where we begin. We felt we needed to reject the company’s initial offer, and an overwhelming majority of Eaze members agreed, which brought the company back to the table,” said Giovanna Sanchez-Esquival, a driver at Element 7 in South San Francisco. “We are  proud that as workers we stayed united and were able to reach the best deal possible, which gives every Eaze worker a raise, a path to a transparent and equitable reimbursement for their mileage and won the largest statewide contract of its kind for cannabis delivery.”

“It’s a relief to finally reach a middle ground with a contract that recognizes our costs and contributions,” said UFCW Local 135 Bargaining Committee member Kerry McCue. “This agreement is going to have a real impact in actually improving Union member’s lives. I feel lucky that I got a chance to be involved, and to help make a difference.”

“This contract improves everyone’s working conditions significantly and places us in an excellent position for the next fight,” said Austin Williams, a delivery driver for Eaze/Stachs and a member of UFCW Local 324. “Our strike threat put them in a corner and got us more than they had been willing to offer. I’m proud of all of our co-workers for standing up and being willing to fight so hard for what they deserve.”

This tentative agreement marks a pivotal moment for cannabis workers in California, reaffirming their ability and power to negotiate for fair treatment and just compensation.

UFCW Locals 5, 135, 324, and 770 proudly represent nearly 600 Eaze/Stachs workers, and the UFCW as a whole represents over 6,000 cannabis workers throughout California.