Medical marijuana growers join Teamsters union
Sept.20, 2010
Associated Press| 

OAKLAND, Calif. -- As organized labor faces declining
membership, one of the country's most storied unions is
looking to a new growth industry: marijuana.

The Teamsters added nearly 40 new members earlier this
month by organizing the country's first group of
unionized marijuana growers. Such an arrangement is
likely only possible in California, which has the
nation's loosest medical marijuana laws.

But it's still unclear how the Teamsters will safeguard
the rights of members who do work that's considered a
federal crime.

"I didn't have this planned out when I became a
Teamster 34 years ago, to organize marijuana workers,"
said Lou Marchetti, who acted as a liaison between the
growers and Oakland-based Teamsters Local 70. "This is
a whole new ballgame."

The new members work as gardeners, trimmers and cloners
for Marjyn Investments LLC, an Oakland business that
contracts with medical marijuana patients to grow their
pot for them.

Their newly negotiated two-year contract provides them
with a pension, paid vacation and health insurance.
Their current wages of $18 per hour will increase to
$25.75 an hour within 15 months, according to the

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