Teamsters allege GTI surveilled striking employees

GTI employees unionizing

Rise Dispensary, owned by Green Thumb Industries (GTI), employees from three Chicago locations continue contract negotiations. The talks were sparked by GTI employees unionizing, followed by a 13-day strike. The strike ended over a month ago, but controversy has continued.

“Unfortunately, this is not a company that has learned its lesson,” said Peter Finn, Teamsters Western Region International Vice President, and Food Processing Division Director. “The company’s continued refusal to respect federal law has led them to lose revenue, operational stability, and the trust of their workforce. If they keep committing ULPs, we will keep filing charges. The Teamsters will not be broken.”

In a press release, Teamsters 777 claimed that Green Thumb Industries (GTI) surveilled employees illegally during the labor action. These allegations came to light yesterday when 777 announced the filing of an additional Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) against the multi-state operator.

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The ULP alleges that GTI was reading a private Discord server between striking employees during the action. The intrusion became public after an attorney admitted to reading the server during the hearing, Teamsters Communication Manager Matt McQuaid shared with GreenState.

“We are disappointed, but not surprised, by this latest turn of events,” said Jim Glimco, Local 777 President in a press release sent by the Teamsters. “This is the same employer that has lied repeatedly to both its staff and the general public about its conduct. We hoped for GTI to change its behavior but hope and expectation are two very different things.”

An earlier Teamster-issued press release alleged that GTI gave raises to employees that worked during the 13-day strike, and preceding cases could make those raises permanent. McQuaid shared that GTI sent out an all-staff email denying giving any raises during the strike, which he believes they “most definitely did.”

“We regret that the Teamsters are choosing to continue their campaign of misinformation, distraction, and delay rather than focus on making progress at the bargaining table,” said an unnamed GTI spokesperson in a comment to GreenState through its PR team. “We did not surveil our employees’ private communications during the strike, and, in fact, had no means of doing so. We are confident that this baseless allegation will not stand up to scrutiny.”

Despite the back and forth, McQuaid is confident that the workers and cannabis corporation will come to a compromise, eventually ratifying a contract that suits both parties. And the unnamed GTI spokesperson believes the same.

“We are ready and eager to continue working toward an agreement that meets the needs of our employees and the business,” the GTI spokesperson concluded.

Cara Wietstock is Senior Content Producer of and has been working in the cannabis space since 2011. She has covered the cannabis business beat for Ganjapreneur and The Spokesman Review. You can find her living in Bellingham, Washington with her husband, son, and a small zoo of pets.