Press Statement

For immediate release

Contact: David C. Dal Zin, ddalzin@ctaflcio.org, 860-550-3113

AFL-CIO, UFCW & Building Trades on Judiciary Committee Passing Cannabis Bill

Labor praises inclusion of labor peace; urges inclusion of project labor agreements

The Connecticut AFL-CIO, UFCW Local 371, UFCW Local 919, and the CT Building Trades made the following statements in response to the Judiciary Committee passing SB 888: An Act Responsibly and Equitably Regulating Adult-Use Cannabis with substitute language:

Sal Luciano, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO:

“The Judiciary Committee took a big step forward today by including labor peace in legislation that regulates the recreational use of cannabis. It is vitally important that the jobs will be a net positive for our state and those most adversely impacted by the war on drugs have opportunities to create new careers, establish thriving businesses and build economic security.

“We applaud the Judiciary Committee for recognizing that the best way to create good jobs in this new industry is to make labor peace agreements a condition of licensure.

“And we urge the legislature to add language to the final bill that would require the construction or renovation of cultivation and rental facilities to include prevailing wage standards and project labor agreements. The labor movement wants all the jobs in this industry – from construction and renovation to cannabis processing and retail – to be good jobs in our state. Connecticut cannot afford another low-wage industry.”

Mark Espinosa, President of UFCW Local 919, and Ronald Petronella, President of UFCW Local 371:

“The United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Locals 371 and 919 would like to thank the Judiciary Committee for including Labor Peace Language in SB 888. Labor Peace Agreements and union contracts help ensure that this new industry in Connecticut will be an equitable one. This is a step in the right direction towards ensuring that Connecticut workers can benefit from this growing industry. 

“We would also like to urge the Judiciary Committee to include prevailing wage protections and Project Labor Agreements in SB 888, to continue to make the cannabis industry equitable from shovel to sale.”

Joe Toner, Executive Director of the Connecticut State Building & Construction Trades Council:

“We thank the Judiciary Committee for ensuring labor peace agreements were included in the bill that will regulate adult use of cannabis. But we are disappointed that the bill failed to include critical prevailing wage standards and ensure project labor agreements.

“Any new construction or renovation of cultivation and rental facilities should be done with a project labor agreement. This would ensure that the residents of underserved communities would have opportunities for careers in the construction industry while making a living wage with health care and retirement security.

“We are grateful to Sen. Winfield and Rep. Stafstrom for their support of labor protections in this bill. We look forward to working with the co-chairs and the Lamont administration to include prevailing wage standards and project labor agreements in the final bill.”