MJBiz - September 2023 - 43

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Because many jurisdictions
in California have merit-based
application processes, it's helpful
to have an ally such as a union
that is willing to advocate on
your behalf, Araby said.
Carpenter agreed that the union can
be a helpful advocate as her company
seeks to expand and establish better
industry rules.
" One of the biggest focus areas for
the union is advocating for companies
who want to partner with the union
to work toward meaningful worker
standards and the creation of things like
apprenticeship programs, " she said.
NAVIGATING DISPUTES
WITH WORKERS
Carpenter said the UFCW also has
been helpful in resolving disputes
with employees.
" Things come up, and more
than anything, the fact that they've
been through nearly every (kind of
labor issue) is the piece that is most
beneficial to me. They facilitate
conversations to help us be better as
employers and as a business. "
For example, one of Carpenter's employees
had a tardiness problem. The
worker was habitually late a few times
per week, affecting other employees
who had to cover for their tardiness,
Carpenter said.
After a few unsuccessful attempts to
get the employee to come to work on
time, Carpenter brought in a union
representative to moderate a discussion
between the employee and business
leaders about how to fix the problem.
The employee changed their behavior
and is still employed with Embarc today.
The union's role is nuanced,
Carpenter said.
" I really view them as the employee
advocate. But I think a lot of times
that isn't in conflict with us as the
employer. The best outcome for that
employee is also the best outcome for
us, which is an employee performing
to a level where they are successful
and that the remainder of our team
can be successful, " Carpenter said.
STANDARDS AND SAFETY
Unions also can help businesses access
and create worker development,
training and apprenticeship
programs, since they have resources
and expertise with such initiatives,
Araby said.
" We talk frequently about
worker standards, apprenticeship
programs and how to emphasize
the importance of those things as
local jurisdictions contemplate what
commercial cannabis is going to look
like in their community, " Carpenter
said.
" Myself and our regulatory affairs
team are working hand in hand with
the UFCW on statewide initiatives,
such as worker standards and
apprenticeship programs, which I
think are going to ultimately be really
critical to the future of our industry, "
Carpenter said.
Ultimately, cannabis executives
need to ask whether they want
to spend their capital on their
company and workers or consultants
telling them how to avoid unions,
Araby said.
" These conflicts disrupt your
business, your employees. And you
must ask: Is it worth it? " Araby said.
mjbizdaily.com | September 2023 43
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MJBiz - September 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of MJBiz - September 2023

MJBiz - September 2023 - CT1
MJBiz - September 2023 - CT2
MJBiz - September 2023 - Cover1
MJBiz - September 2023 - Cover2
MJBiz - September 2023 - 3
MJBiz - September 2023 - 4
MJBiz - September 2023 - 5
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MJBiz - September 2023 - Cover3
MJBiz - September 2023 - Cover4
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